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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 13h 56m 47s
Overall Rank = 1238/
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 33/
Pre-race routine:

Usual - nothing.
Event warmup:

  • 1h 18m 16s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

Starting at the front sounded like a good idea, but it was hostile out there. I was elbowed, kicked, grabbed, and mowed over several times. Once we got beyond the island it opened up and was much better. I did not realize we had to swim beyond the island so when we kept going I slowed down to sight and make sure I was heading the right way. After the turn it opened up even more and I finally got into a rhythm. It seemed to take forever to get under the bridges and see Joe's Crap Shack and the finish. Finally it appeared, but then I started thinking that as much as I wanted to get out, I had a long bike ahead of me. I got a few cramps at the very end but controlled them by swimming with my feet flexed.
What would you do differently?:

Hold my space and not back off as people batter and mow me over. Overall this was slightly faster then I predicted so I can't complain.

Edited to add that my husband rocks! He got up super early and got in line for me. And he was there at the swim finish cheering me on!
Transition 1
  • 06m 5s

The run to the tent and to the bike mount line was pretty long, so this time was pretty good for me. I had a woman helping me in the tent with my stuff, and I was so thankful for her help.
What would you do differently?:

Spray my own sunscreen. They told us there would be spray sunscreen, but when I exited the tent there were 2 women with gloves on covered with sunscreen lotion. I had no choice but to get that but they missed a lot of spots and I burned in those places.
  • 6h 22m 36s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.56 mile/hr

Good bike for me. Didn't overdo it, kept HR low, used small chain ring on most hills. Let people pass me and resisted urge to speed up.

I really liked this bike course. The out and back was not bad. I had already ridden in for Cardinal Harbor HIM 6 weeks prior, plus we rode it on Friday as well. It's got hills and a rough bridge at the bottom, but honestly it was nothing compared to the rides we do around Roswell, Alpharetta, and Forsyth County. I felt well prepared. The 30 mile loop went by quickly, and the crowd support out there was unbelievable. Tom was in La Grange so I had that to look forward to @ 38 & 68 miles. The only section I found slightly hard was the narrow strip that starts as you make a left turn next to a corn field. That section was not expected (Cardinal Harbor does not do that part and I guess I thought the loop we did for the HIM was the same loop - wrong.) and was very hilly. But again with the training we did all summer it was not bad. The last 10 - 15 miles was rough. It was supposed to be downhill, and it seemed like it was downhill, but I felt like I was having to fight my way back. Must have been windy.

My friend Libby was at the boat house on River Road on the way out holding a big "K". That was so awesome!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I think I biked very smart.

Oh and I rented Zipp 404's from Race Day Wheels, and I would most definitely do that again. They were awesome!
Transition 2
  • 07m 24s

Had two women helping me, and although they were very nice, I'm not sure if they helped me much. I grabbed most things because I knew what I wanted and would be quicker for me to just grab. One asked if I wanted to be sprayed with the sunscreen I had in my bag and since I was already feeling burnt in spots I said yes. She sprayed parts of me, missed some, but did manage to spray in my mouth. Yum, tasty! They were very positive and motivating so that was nice. And they did clean up my trash I pulled out from my back pocket and put all my stuff back in the bag. That was helpful.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except spray my own sunscreen again.
  • 6h 02m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 50s  min/mile

This is where it all fell apart. My legs felt fine, but my stomach was on the verge of not being happy. I ran the beginning but walked the first hill out, and the hill up the bridge. It settled down as long as I kept my HR in the 130's. When it creeped up to the 140's running I would walk. (Tom was again there cheering me on as I headed out, and then again as I came back down the bridge. Amazing husband!) I maintained the run until HR got in 140's and then walk and kept that strategy for about the first 5 miles which was about an hour. I did stop at the special needs about mile 3 to grab my tums. That helped some but I only had a few.

It was getting hotter and hotter and I was having a hard time getting down nutrition and fluids. I started walking more. I would pick something in the distance, usually a stop light about half a mile ahead, and run to that point, then walk to the next light, run to the next point I picked out in the distance. That worked except I think I was too ambitious and should have stuck to shorter distances. At the turnaround (about 8.3 miles) I mentally was struggling with how I was going to make it around again. It was really boring along that strip. The only thing that kept me going was the other athletes and how motivating everyone was. Plus the people scattered along the sides, although sparse, they were great too. And the rest stop volunteers were awesome. Seeing all my training buddies was especially encouraging. We were all out there together. And my wonderful husband had rode his bike out there and rode along side me for a little while. Whenever he pulled out the camera I would start running, can't have photos of me walking!

I stopped at the special needs again on lap 1 (about 12 miles) and changed to dry socks because my shoes were soaked from sweating and my socks felt drenched. Dry socks felt great for about 2 miles. With all the walking, and my feet moving around more I started to feel blisters on the pads of my feet. Not good.

The 2nd loop was pure survival. I tried to drink ice water and coke to keep getting fluids in me. I ate a few pretzels every once in a while. I walked almost the entire last half. With the exception of the last 3 miles when I realized I needed to pick it up a bit if I wanted to break 14 hours. I jogged/walked the last 2 miles.

As I rounded the last corner and saw the bright light at the finish I picked it up, forgot about how bad my feel hurt, and glided on in. The crowd support on the sides was truly incredible. I heard Tom yell on the right and looked and saw him. I started to listen for Mike Reilly so I could hear those magic words. I heard him "Karen Richardson from Alpharetta, GA, first timer, you did it Karen, you ARE an IRONMAN!" I looked up towards him, he pointed right at me and said "you did it Karen, you are an Ironman". Wow, very surreal.
What would you do differently?:

Toughen feet up more so if I have to walk a lot I don't get blisters, bring more tums and something else to help with sloshy stomach/nausea issues. Have not figured out what that is but I will!
Post race
Warm down:

Nothing, begged Tom to take me back to hotel so I could shower and climb into bed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

blisters and nausea

Event comments:

Great time trial swim start, awesome bike course. Head & humidity made the run difficult. Very well run event, Louisville is full of great people.

Last updated: 2009-12-27 12:00 AM
01:18:16 | 4224 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 21/
Overall: 996/
Performance: Good
Course: Up river narrow section between land and island.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:05
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:22:36 | 112 miles | 17.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 19/
Overall: 970/
Performance: Good
Course: Out River Road to 42, one hilly out & back on 1694, continue on 42, circle around La Grange twice, and back on 42.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 07:24
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:02:26 | 26.2 miles | 13m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Out and back on bridge to Indiana, then out and back 2 times with an evil pass by the finish to start the 2nd lap. Mostly flat with few exceptions.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 4

2010-08-31 10:42 AM

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: Ironman Louisville

2010-08-31 10:48 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great report and great job!!  Everytime I see a video clip of Mike Reilly annoncing someone's name at the finish line I literally get goosebumps!  Awesome job!
2010-08-31 10:58 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congratulations, Ironman!!!  Great race report. Hope you're feeling good in recovery!
2010-08-31 1:30 PM
in reply to: #3073367

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome job, Ironman!
2010-08-31 2:17 PM
in reply to: #3073367

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Winder, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Way to go, Karen! It would be tough to push through with blisters and you were able to make it - you're one tough chick. Congrats, IronWOman.
2010-08-31 8:43 PM
in reply to: #3073367

Extreme Veteran
Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Congratulations Karen! You had a great race dealing with the heat and humidity. I actually got to see you cross the finish line from the feed on Ironman Live and remember laughing when Mike Reilly said Alpharetta kind of funny... at least I think it was when you crossed that he said it funny.

2010-09-01 8:27 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Marietta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome race - you pushed through when you needed to and came to a strong finish. You are an IRONMAN!
2010-09-01 11:25 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Sugar Hill, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congratulations!  You trained long and hard and it paid off with a strong race.  You are an Ironman!
2010-09-01 11:43 AM
in reply to: #3076029

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Way to go, Karen!  You looked great out there!  Way to bring it home despite that sloshy tummy.  : )  And way to go for Tom beacuse he was awesome all weekend.
2010-09-01 2:45 PM
in reply to: #3073367

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great race, but I think you need to add more rave's about your husband! 


2010-09-01 9:35 PM
in reply to: #3073367

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Extreme Veteran
Newnan, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job out there!  One of these days I will make it to your level!

2010-09-01 10:59 PM
in reply to: #3073367

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great race report and I think there are some lessons learned for future first timers (e.g. allways apply your own sunscreen in transition). 

Congrats on an epic day.

2010-09-02 7:13 AM
in reply to: #3077621

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Nice job Karen, awesome bike and race all together, congrats!
2010-09-02 8:59 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job IRON Karen!  Wish I had met you out there!
2010-09-02 11:32 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congratulations! Awesome finish time!
2010-09-03 7:29 AM
in reply to: #3073367

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Lancaster, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great Job! Congrats to you and Tom on your Ironman! 

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