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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
85F / 29C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 58m 35s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Thursday morning, Lisa and Michael picked Dave and me up in Kansas City and we drove over to Louisville. Right when we got to the hotel, I realized that I completely forgot one of my bags back in Kansas City. After the initial panic, I did a quick inventory and realized that all the important race stuff made it to Louisville - the bag I forgot was all my street clothes and toiletries. So after a nice dinner with the four of us and Eric from Wichita, Dave and I went to a Walmart to buy me some clothes and replacement toiletries. That kept me up later than I would have liked. (I unfortunately did not sleep well for probably 4 of the 5 nights leading up to the race.)

Friday we met up with more Wichita people for breakfast & coffee and did a quick 30 min ride on the course. Dave and Michael went for a longer ride to the out-and-back "finger" of the course while Lisa and I did athlete check-in/expo stuff. Athlete dinner that night, and practice swim in the river and a short run on Saturday + bike/gear bag check-in. Saturday afternoon, we all tried to relax, but I had too much nervous energy to get in a nap. At 5, we met Lisa's family for dinner out in the suburbs, which was really nice. They are like my adoptive Ironman family - what a great group!

We were back at the hotel pretty early, and I made myself dummy-proof notes on index cards for each transition as well as stuff to do race morning. Despite being well-prepared, I still barely slept that night. Up at 4 am for a quick shower and gathering up the final stuff. Then Lisa and I drove to the Galt House garage together. We let the boys sleep in - they brought their own bikes so they could get around without the car on race day.
Event warmup:

We walked from the lot to the transition area. Got our bike tires pumped, made sure everything was ready to go with our gear bags, and then got a cool pre-race picture with Mike Reilly. Nice! After that, we walked down to the swim start to get bodymarked and then made our way to the end of the line, which was kind of hard to find actually. We hung out with a girl named Kate while we waited. I drank a bottle of IM Perform and had a granola bar & GU, and visited the potties (which were of course out of paper - thanks to the random dude for the wet wipe!). When the pro gun went off, everyone started getting amped up. The line started moving pretty quickly and then before you knew it, we were almost at the docks. This was when we noticed they stopped letting people start. After maybe 5-10 minutes, we heard that one of the competitors was pulled from the swim and they were doing chest compressions. (We found out the next day that he never regained consciousness.) :( What a sad way to start the race, but we didn't know exactly what had happened at the time. The line ended up moving again shortly thereafter, and it was probably in less than a minute that I was jumping off into the water to start my second Ironman.
Swim
  • 1h 22m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards
Comments:

This was a very enjoyable swim for me. We started out in the little channel behind Towhead island and made our way past that to the turnaround buoy at maybe .7 miles. I had to stop once to defog my goggles; then as we got out from behind the island, I noticed a guy walking just to my right. Huh. I'd heard there were places where you could walk on a sand bar. The next couple times I breathed to my right, I saw a lot more people walking, so I figured, why not? I stood up, and to my surprise, there was a lot of really soft sand there, and the water was only chest deep. I walked only about 15 seconds - commented to a random dude that this was a great time to adjust your goggles - we were going about as fast as the swimmers! It was fun, actually, and one of the highlights of the race for me. But after that, I went back to swimming. Made it to the red turnaround buoy and then started on the way back.

For being a 2.4 mile swim, it actually didn't feel that long to me. At Wisconsin, I felt like the swim would never end, it was so boring. But this one went by a lot more quickly - and not just because of the current (although that was nice). Maybe it was because there was a lot more to look at? In any case, it was a pleasant swim, with minimal contact, and I was thrilled when I exited the water right around 1:22.


What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing. This was a great swim!
Transition 1
  • 10m 2s
Comments:

I didn't expect to get a volunteer in T1, and sure enough, I didn't at first. I was super calm in T1 - took time to clean off my feet from the run into transition, and put on my bike shoes and helmet. Added a little body glide down there, and then a volunteer came over and sprayed my back with sunscreen. I didn't feel like I took that much time in T1, but apparently I did.
What would you do differently?:

Move a little faster.
Bike
  • 7h 57m 7s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.08 mile/hr
Comments:

Ahhhh, the bike. You are usually my favorite part. Why did you disappoint me so in Louisville?

Everything started out well. I pulled out of transition and got going just fine. On the way out to the finger out-and-back, I was averaging 17 or so - but it was very flat and easy. I didn't pass anybody, and got passed a lot, but that was fine with me. It meant fewer people would be around me on the big hills in the finger section, and I would have more energy for later in the bike. Once we hit the hills in the finger, I started passing a lot of people. I wasn't working hard on the hills - just spinning, but still averaging faster than most people here. I felt really good, and came out of that section with my average still at 16.2, which was my goal pace for the bike. I figured that would be no problem to hold, since I'd just finished the hardest part.

HOWEVER... Around mile 20, I had started getting a headache. I also started getting some pretty bad stomach gas. But I wasn't too worried at this point; I figured the 2x caffeine in my GUs would take care of the headache, and I was fully expecting the gas so I had eight gas-x pills in my bento box. I started taking them, but they only helped temper the pain. And as the miles went on, both the headache and stomach pains kept getting worse and worse. I hadn't brought any regular pain meds with me on the bike - was saving them for the run, when I figured the aches and pains would kick in. I really did not expect to be hurting like this on the bike. The only nice thing was that I saw Dave and Michael at the start of the second loop - they had ridden out to the corner there and were cheering us on.

I stopped to pee at the L'Esprit Parkway aid station on both loops, and got some more sunscreen the second time, but was trying to tough it out with the headache. I didn't pack anything for special needs on the bike, since you didn't get the bags back and I am not about to let anything go to waste. Sometimes, I think I am too frugal. I was wishing I'd packed at least a couple Tylenol.

Got back on the bike, but by now, my average pace was so slow. Like 12-13 mph. wow. I was not feeling good, and fading fast. Every little crack in the road felt like someone was hitting me in the head. I started riding my with hands up on the aero pads and lifting my butt out of the saddle at every tiny crack in the road. And of course, this section of 42 was the worst for that (at least the gas was at a tolerable level by now). This was a real low point for me. When I got the the mile 87 aid station, I stopped and got off the bike and said I wasn't feeling well. Just a little after this, Lisa pulled up, saw me, and came over. The volunteers got me into a chair in the shade and I was just toasted. I truly wanted to quit then and there - my head was pounding, but I was also feeling lightheaded and out-of-sorts, and all I could visualize was me passing out on the bike, and laying on the side of the road. I thought that was a real possibility. Lisa was such a sweetheart - she came and sat with me for a while, offered me all the stuff she had on her (I gratefully took a Tylenol) but ultimately, she needed to run her own race, so after encouraging me, she went on ahead. I was so glad to see her, though - what an awesome friend and race buddy. I love that girl!

I ended up staying at the aid station for around a half hour. The headache was still there, but a volunteer ended up giving me another Tylenol, and I finally decided that quitting wasn't an option. I had to at least TRY to finish, although I really didn't see how I possibly could do a marathon, even if I could make it to the end of the bike. But I got up and back on the bike. The next 5 miles weren't pretty. I was a mess, actually crying on the bike and really disappointed with everything.

Then, almost like a light switch, the Tylenol kicked in and the roads got smoother. I started to feel like a human being again around mile 95, and was getting a second wind - when out of nowhere, a bee flew into my glove and stung me! I looked down and actually saw him stuck in the finger opening. Oh... I got that little bugger out fast and I was pissed! Then I got panicky, not knowing if I'd have a reaction or not (never been stung before). I stopped to make sure the stinger was out and then kept an eye on it. It swelled up a little, but not too bad, so that was a relief. The rest of the bike got progressively better and I managed to pick up the pace quite a bit, but the long stop still killed my overall time.
What would you do differently?:

My nutrition, hydration, and pacing were all spot-on, so I really don't think that was the problem. The only thing I can think of that messed me up like this was the headache, most likely from cumulative lack of sleep. If I do another IM, I am going to take Tylenol PM not the night before the race, but for a couple nights before that, and make getting sleep priority #1. I will also never go on a long ride again without packing a couple Tylenol pills! Everything else was fine.
Transition 2
  • 10m 54s
Comments:

T2 was nothing special. I changed from my tri shorts into compression running shorts and got the sunscreen slop special. Visited the port-a-potties and then went out to run my marathon.
Run
  • 5h 18m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 09s  min/mile
Comments:

For as bad of a bike as I had, this was a surprisingly good run. My strategy was to run the first six miles and then take a one-minute walking break at every mile marker. I had tried to run as far as possible at Wisconsin and then ended up walking most of the last few miles. I was hoping to avoid that same fate in Louisville. And I actually felt really good the whole time. Gas was gone; headache eventually went away, too. I saw Lisa's family and then Michael in the first few miles - then saw Lisa when I was around mile 6 and she was on her way back to Fourth Street Live. Just before the turnaround, I saw Michael and Dave - Dave ran with me for just a minute and really encouraged me. It made it a little easier to make that turn just before the finish chute (what a tease!) to start the second loop.

It started to get dark during the second loop. I made sure to use the potty again before it was completely dark - but kept up my running strategy otherwise. I topped off my handheld bottle with Perform when necessary, and kept taking my endurolytes, but didn't really want to eat anything else. But I made myself take my planned GUs and CLIF bars, and had a little broth and banana at a couple of the stops. My feet and knees never really hurt (what a surprise!). I caught up to Lisa around mile 19 and kind of wanted to stay with her, but was feeling pretty good then, and thought I might actually be able to break 5 hours for the marathon, so I kept going. However, I must have jinxed myself by saying that, because seriously no more than 500 yds later both my quads cramped up and stayed tight the whole rest of the race. I was still able to run, but they were locked and burning! By miles 23-24 I guess I was deliriously happy - I stared joking around with the people near me and totally let a fart on purpose right in front of some guy and laughed. Luckily, he thought it was amusing, too. I was just glad that this year, I was able to still be running at this point.

The last mile seemed really long to me, but coming into the finish chute was amazing. The light was almost blinding and it was so loud. I was emotionally exhausted and almost stopped to walk it in and soak it all up. I was so close to breaking down and crying from elation. It really is true that you can experience every emotion possible in a single day.

I high-fived a ton of people and ran it in for the finish - so happy to have made it!
Post race
Warm down:

Got my medal, shirt, hat, and picture and my finish line catcher was great. I didn't see Dave right away, so kind of wandered around for a few minutes and stretched a little. Then all of a sudden, Lisa was finishing! She shaved an hour off her IM time - I'm so proud of her!

Then, Dave and Lisa's family were there and we all hung out together and talked about the day. Got some post race food and our morning bags. Called for medical help for a guy that passed out behind us. Lots of people needed medical! The guys went to get the car for us - they had already picked up our bikes & gear bags and taken them back to the hotel. That was super nice! We didn't stay any longer - just wanted to get back to the hotel, shower, and SLEEP.

Event comments:

I really enjoyed this whole weekend. The organization and events in Louisville are top-notch. Everything went smoothly, and I had as good a race as I was prepared to have. Thanks to the RD and the Ironman crew for putting on a great event! And thank you to all the wonderful volunteers out there!




Last updated: 2011-01-12 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:22:09 | 4224 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 10:02
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:57:07 | 112 miles | 14.08 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 10:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:18:23 | 26.2 miles | 12m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Did we really run past Churchill Downs? I totally missed that.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2011-08-30 10:23 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Olathe, KS
Subject: Ironman Louisville


2011-08-31 5:48 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Extreme Veteran
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Racine WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Nice race despite some pretty tough obstacles thrown your way.  Glad to read that you were able to finish. Congratulations!

2011-08-31 7:47 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Master
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

So inspiring!  Way to get back at it, even when things seems awful.  I know it wasn't quite the race you had envisioned, but it was very telling as to your courage and strength and mental fortitude!

Congratulations, 2x Ironwoman!

2011-08-31 8:46 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Member
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SWOH
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
What a great race report! I enjoyed it a lot. Hilarious about ripping a fart on the run -- you probably energized that guy to move faster. Maybe the bee knew you had a headache and was giving you some old fashioned acupuncture?
2011-08-31 9:36 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Extreme Veteran
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Carrollton, Virginia
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
That's so awesome that you powered through.  That's what IM is all about.  Regardless of times or splits, this will be one you will remember!
2011-08-31 10:03 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
I was soooo worried about you out on the bike watching your splits online. I knew something had gone wrong, but then was so happy for you picking it back up on the run! I actually thought you and Lisa might have ran it in together until they posted the final times. Well, guess this means you might have to do "one more" Ironman someday so you can really show it what you got, huh?


2011-08-31 11:17 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Elite
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N Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats!!!  Way to overcome all of the obstacles!!!!
2011-08-31 11:26 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Member
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2525
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congratulations. Way to hang in there and finish strong.  I laughed pretty hard about the fart comment.  LOL  What are the odds that a bee would be able to sting you like that while you are riding.  Stupid bee! Grrrr  Great job!
2011-08-31 11:35 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I know I told you this a million times already, but I am SO PROUD OF YOU for powering through the demons, headaches and farts to cross that finish line! 

Thanks you again for your friendship and support through this crazy journey! You are amazing!

2011-08-31 2:02 PM
in reply to: #3666817

Iron Donkey
38600
500050005000500050005000500020001000500100
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Soooooo, Lisa suckered you in, eh??  HA!  NICE JOB, IRON(WO)MAN!!!  Now, teach me how to swim like that!
2011-08-31 3:03 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
You are one tough cookie. Nice job.


2011-08-31 4:15 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Veteran
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West Palm Beach
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Woohooo! you are one tough person!!!

Congratulations!!!

2011-08-31 7:58 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Veteran
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Channahon,Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome job Linda!!! Great race and report!!! Truly inspirational!! You could have easily quit and nobody would have questioned you. But you are special!!! And tough!!! One of the great things about Ironman are the people you meet along the way and I'm glad to have met you and Lisa during IMOO. Great people and amazing 2X Ironmen!! Congrats again!!
2011-08-31 8:14 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Champion
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Ames, IA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race and report.  Amazing to see you fight your way through that rough patch. Nice job!
2011-08-31 8:29 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Master
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Amazing job finishing that race so strong! That headache sounds awful! Gotta love modern medicine though- gasX and Tylenol can solve all the worlds problems
2011-08-31 10:16 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Expert
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Denver
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great job facing some tough obstacles and figuring out how to get through them so you could finish the race. That you didn't quit shows what an awesome athlete you are.

Congratulations Linda!



2011-09-01 9:45 AM
in reply to: #3666817

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Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race and report! So glad that "switch" flipped for you at the end of the bike and you started to feel well again. I know it's been said, but great job battling and overcoming those obstacles.
2011-09-21 9:02 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Regular
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Holland, Mich.
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race and wonderful report!  For me, it was all about "moving forward," and it sounds like you were able to "power forward"!  Very tough!  Congrats!
2011-09-21 9:40 PM
in reply to: #3666817

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Master
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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Finally read this.  Wow, you are a tough cookie!  Way to tough it out Linda!  To run 26.2 after that bike....very impressive!

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