When we last left off… (uh, a week ago! Thanks Maggie for the reminder to finish the race!) I had just gotten out of a fantastic swim at Ironman Louisville! After wiping off my face, I got my bike shoes, cooling arm sleeves, sunglasses & helmet on, and headed out to the bike!
One IM Louisville tip: the volunteers do not get your bike for you, so you should practice to see how to get to your bike from the changing tent. I definitely didn’t think to do this and lost my bike… and almost had to get someone to help me find it! Oh well, T1 total time of 10:09.
The Louisville bike course starts out pretty flat, and it was nice to cruise along super easy. When I started, it’s almost funny how easy I was trying to ride. I so did not want to blow up and find out I’d ridden too hard at the beginning. I let a million people pass me (that may be only a slight exaggeration).
I did find out I had forgotten about certain slight inclines, and yes, one of them came up on the first route up toward Route 1694. Then we came upon the fun part: a windy, shaded one-lane road that Ironman lore has as the scene of many an accident. I was just hoping I wouldn’t get in one, nor anyone else that day.
I love riding fast down hills, and this was going to be the most fun time to go. I really did take the downhills well, and tried my damnedest to go SLOW up the hill. Thankfully I made it there and back without a problem. I also successfully executed a U-Turn (the only one on the course) and also my bottle exchange without any issues.
Then I did it again! This is the little “stick off the lollipop stick” when you look at the Ironman Louisville course.
After that, you head out for the loop, which I felt like was familiar territory having ridden it twice. I knew where we were going and when to get into the small chain ring.
For one hundred & twelve miles, things can get a bit boring. My highlights:
- riding along a farm and hearing another cyclist go “neigh” like a horse!
- learning that my body may not like the pre-mixed perform (and what a stomach cramp REALLY feels like).
- Eating 3 bonk breakers, 3 gels, 3 baggies of pretzels & 3 of swedish fish. And probably 25+ salt tabs.
- Cooling arm sleeves are the bomb! You pour water on them and they cool you down — especially as the air breezes by!
I saw my family and friends around mile 65:
And by mile 95 my neck had decided it had had enough of aero. I started bargaining with myself to stay in aero (so I could stay faster while on a net downhill toward the finish) of 1 minute in aero, one minute out. What I’d get to do after the race. Then it was 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. I also saw other cyclists with the same issue. Mimicked a couple of them who started riding with their hands on the aero pads.
And then we were back at transition! Time to run!