Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 9h 57m 36s
Overall Rank = 66/2345
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 8/453
Pre-race routine:

My race prep started Saturday, with my Dad and my two little boys (4 and 5) being my support crew. It was awesome having them there. (My wife and my Mom were at home with our new baby, born six days before the race.)

Saturday morning we all walked down to the Gatorade practice swim, and they watched while I swam for 30 minutes. Felt good. After that, we walked back to our room at the Galt. On the way, Deb I. introduced herself to us; she recognized us from some of the online race photos I posted. She's an awesome triathlete, and it was great to meet her.

Next, I took the bike out for a 20 mile ride, with about 10 of it at IM effort. Legs felt strong. While I was riding, Dad took the boys to brunch. We all met back at the room by about 1 pm. I grabbed a quick (and big!) lunch and packed my gear bags. Being an idiot, I had ridden in my race-day gear, so I had to wash it all, and my Dad volunteered to dry it with the room's hair dryer. Thanks Dad!

We dropped the gear+bike at transition and then had a very good dinner (tuna steak) at Ri Ra (5 pm). We spent the rest of the night relaxing.

We got up at 4 am on raceday, had some coffee and fruit and I headed down to transition while Dad and the boys went to get us a spot in the swim line. In T1, I borrowed a pump from a young asian guy named 'Louie' and topped off my tires. I wish I could remember his number -- he was a super nice guy and had a great attitude. All smiles. I hope he had a super day, he deserved it.

I got to the swim line around 5:50 am, and found the crew about 1/3 of the way back in line. We had a good time hanging out for the next hour and talking with the folks around us. I was surprised how quickly it went by.
Event warmup:

Running down the ramp to the swim start. That was intense! The line was moving fast at that point, and people lined both sides of the ramp, all of them cheering for the athletes. My heart was racing, and I felt like a rock star. One of the major highlights of the race.

As I recall, I was in the water at about 7:15 am.
  • 1h 14m 38s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

Chip belt came loose as soon as I jumped in! Tried to tighten it, but it fell off about 10 minutes later when another swimmer hit it.

Right wrist was still hurting, so I had to swim with a brace. That plus almost no swimming for the last 1.33 months made for a slower swim than I had hoped. But given two broken wrists a little over a month ago, a faster time probably was unrealistic.

Most of my pull was coming from my left arm (no brace), and by the end of the swim my left shoulder/side was pretty fatigued.

Lost some time having to go around bunches of swimmers going at a slower pace. I figure everyone had this issue, with the exception of those at the very front of the line, so no biggie. Just part of the race.
What would you do differently?:

Not crash and break my wrists a month before the race! Even so, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed with my swim time. I spent tons of time in the pool this year due to injury, and I had hoped it would be more evident than this on race day. But the times don't lie. Time to get back in the pool.
Transition 1
  • 04m 45s

Got a new chip at the swim exit. They were quick with that.

Decided to go with biking shorts and biking top. Got all dressed and then realized that I forgot to put on my HR monitor. Instead of undressing to put it on, I decided to just go on RPE. Good call.

Happy with my time here.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 06m 5s
  • 112 miles
  • 21.95 mile/hr

Overall, a great ride for me.

Had to pass lots of folks at the beginning of the ride due to my position in line. Had to ride the brakes a little bit, but not bad. Due to my crash during my last race, I was a little gun shy and played everything conservatively on this ride. Both the descent and ascent on 1694 made me nervous. I also had to pass a few vehicles on the course (passed them on the right) that were stacked up behind other racers. That was a little hairy, but I'm not sure what else I could have done.

I had to stop at about mile 25 to hand tighten the cleat on my left shoe. Thankfully, that held up for the rest of the ride and cost me less than 2 minutes. If I had lost one or two of the screws in my cleat that early in the race, it could have been game over. Phew!

I felt kind of sick/sluggish for the first half of the ride and thought I might be coming down with the cold that Henry and my Mom had been dealing with all week. But by the second half of the ride I felt quite a bit better. And I felt fine the day after the race, so I don't know what happened there.

Since I left my HR monitor in T1, I did the entire ride+run based on RPE. During the ride, I kept the pain-o-meter at 7.5, except the hills which were about an 8.

I had a chance to chat with a few folks out on the course. Saw BamaDC on 1694. At first I just noticed the yellow ribbon on his seatpost and shouted something like "Go BT!", but then I noticed it was a sweet looking Cervelo with HED wheels and realized it was Mark. Cool. We exchanged a few words, and he seemed to be doing well. Then, shortly after the turn off of 1694 I rode by Gary D. and we chatted for a little while. He's a great guy, always encouraging.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure my cleats are tight before the race.
Transition 2
  • 04m 50s

Put on socks, shoes, fresh shirt and shorts, grabbed my fuel belt and water bottle, and took off.

The volunteer that helped me out was just outstanding. Super encouraging and kind. Where do they find these people?? Awesome.

What would you do differently?:

Bring money to tip the volunteers!

And lose the fuel belt/water bottle. The run course was loaded with grub.
  • 3h 28m 22s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 57s  min/mile

For me, this race and this season were about working out the run.

I decided to do IMKY09 in September of 2008. I had followed IMKY 2008 and was inspired by those athletes in all shapes in sizes busting out 140.6 miles in absolutely incredible conditions. What perseverance! I didn't know if I could do it, but I knew I was going to try.

So, after registering, I quickly cranked up my run volume+intensity (I had to get ready for an IM!) and managed to give myself a hip stress fracture by the end of September. Unfortunately, it wasn't properly diagnosed until I got an MRI in mid November, which clearly showed a SFX in my left ilium. One thing led to another, and I was finally able to slowly start run training again in May of '09.

Things were finally going well until I crashed during the Cardinal Harbour race in July, and my hip/back issues flared up again. Argh! I limited my run volume as much as I thought I could, but the week before IMLou I still couldn't run more than two miles without stopping due to pain in my hip/butt/back. I truly thought there was no way I could run this marathon. I considered DNSing the race, but realized that IM is about giving everything you've got (short of significanat injury, of course); if that means walking the run, then start walking.

Back to the race...
I came out of T2 feeling pretty good. The legs were tired, but definitely under control. One way or another, this was going to be my first marathon. My goal was to run as much of it as possible, and then walk the rest.

I didn't have my HR monitor, but cardio seemed under control at the start. And my legs were tired, but not too sore.

But around miles 4-5, I thought the wheels were coming off. My legs started to seriously ACHE. This was a new feeling that I hadn't encountered in any of my training. With each impact my quads felt like they were going to burst out of my legs. And the strangest part was that no matter how slow I ran, the pain stayed the same. I now understood why the IM run is so hard!

The only thing that relieved the pain was walking. I needed a break to reset my game plan, so I walked for about 50 yards around mile 6. I decided right there that I would try to run from aid station to aid station, taking walking breaks only while I ate/drank. This would let me run almost all the marathon and would give me something to look forward to within each mile of the marathon.

I tried this for the next couple miles, and it worked like a charm. It was very hard to re-start the run every mile, but those short breaks kept me going from station to station. I ran every mile looking ahead for the next group of blue shirted volunteers, and then focused on getting to them before walking. I actually got a 'second wind' around miles 10-12, and skipped a couple aid stations, but that was short lived. I had to hit all the remaining aid stations but one, always grabbing a water, a banana and an orange slice or two. Also tried some coke, but it made my stomach knot up a bit so I stopped it.

During this section of the race I met Robert T. from Louisville. He KQ'd at IMLou last year and was running very close to my pace. I got a bit of a mental break by pacing off of him for several miles. I think I finally pulled away from him around mile 19-20? Seemed like a great guy, and he definitely had a ton of support all over the course!

Another highlight of the run was seeing the great Bob B. at the last aid station on the out-and-back section of the course. Appreciated his encouragement all season, and loved seeing him on the course on race day (even though I was too tired to say much!). Can't wait to see him do his ironman next year.

My Dad also met me out there on the first loop of the run. I felt like a kid again to see Dad cheering for me! Just can't put into words how much it meant to have him out there supporting me on race day. I also saw/heard Aaron D. give me a shout out while he was running the opposite direction on the course. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was him until he had already gone by. He was looking really strong. I heard some other folks call out to me on the course, but I wasn't able to pick out their faces. Thanks to whoever it was!

All of which brought me to the last third of the marathon. My pre-race mental barriers for the run in training have been miles 17-19. I had had three training runs of this distance, and each time I had serious fatigue and hip/butt pain that made me stop. I had no plan for how to get past these miles on race day. Surprisingly, although they hurt like he!l, during the IM these miles didn't feel much harder than the few that preceded them. Best of all, I had absolutely no hip/back/butt pain. I couldn't believe it. I'd been dealing with that crap all season, and on the biggest day of the summer, everything was perfect! I still can't believe it. A lot of prayers answered right there. One of my fears going into the race was that I might cause myself some permanent damage on the run. But now, a couple days post race, I feel fine. How cool is that!

At mile 19 I started thinking I actually had a chance to hold it all together until the end. Then, the final challenge came on around miles 22-23. It was really a struggle to keep running at this point. Hurt like mad to re-start after those aid stations. Fortunately, at that point I realized that I had a shot at going sub-10. I was shocked, and wasn't about to let that slip through my fingers (pre-reace I figured I could do 11 hours on a perfect day). So I kept with the game plan, and even skipped the second-to-last aid station to save time. I took a brief break at the last station, and then pushed through to the end.

I cannot put into words how it felt to go into the finisher's shoot on 4th Street, knowing I had managed to hold it all together in my first IM, even at the end of the run, to see my Dad smiling, and to hear Mike Riley calling out my name. I'm tearing up just writing this down!

The race was so much more than I expected in so many ways. Simply incredible.
What would you do differently?:

Other than hug the volunteers, nothing.
Post race
Warm down:

Warm-down was talking to my Dad while eating some food. Good times. Also saw Gary D. again and spent a little time talking with him. Great guy.

Update: I just learned that they had 8 Kona slots in my AG. Since I was 8/583, I guess that means I KQ'd! Wow.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing. This was the culmination of a fantastic season. The song that was going through my head during the entire race was "Times Like These" by the Foo Fighters. Since starting this sport a year ago, I feel like I've been learning to live again.

Event comments:

I was elated to have pulled this off (with big help from many others, especially my wife Mary!). A BIG highlight was the support my Dad gave me. Both he and my Mom thought this was a silly/dangerous thing for me to be attempting. But his attitude was completely changed by the production put on by IM, the athletes and families we spoke with, and the army of volunteers working on the race. He was even joking positively about doing an IM himself. Never say never Dad!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-09-18 12:00 AM
01:14:38 | 4224 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 83/453
Overall: 538/2345
Performance: Average
Suit: jammers
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:45
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:06:05 | 112 miles | 21.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/453
Overall: 36/2345
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Rolling hills with one biggish hill early on.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:50
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:28:22 | 26.2 miles | 07m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/453
Overall: 86/2345
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %6-7
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5