Ironman Louisville: Bike Report

In case you missed them:  Pre-Race – Swim Recap

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!

Determination: Ironman Louisville Bike Report
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).

Lauren Runs to Tri:  IMLOU Bike Course

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.
Lauren Runs to Tri: Ironman Louisville Bike Report
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:
Ironman Louisville Spectators
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!

BHAG (Big Hairy Ass Goals) for Ironman Training

I just finished cycling* with my IM group tonight and our coach asked us to think about and write down 3 goals we have for our training. I had the whole ride to think about what I’d put down. Blog-o-sphere, here’s my goals:

1. Train Smart.  This will mean train consistently, listen to my coach, and don’t disobey  her orders!  Training consistently will probably be the biggest challenge, but I’m feeling good that I have more support than I’ve gotten in the past.  I’m working on it, with this week being “get and stay healthy!”

2. Time goal for Ironman: 14:38  or faster.  I’m not sure if this is reasonable, nor is it really a logical time. I saw someone finish in that time whom I admire and was with me when I “registered” for IMWI, and consider us similarly abled (as much as me and a 50 year old man can compare ourselves).  He did Ironman last year, but his first 70.3 time was similar to mine, and half marathon times have been similar as well.  I guess we’ll find out!  If I can go faster, that’d be awesome too.  I’d be ecstatic finishing with a 13:xx too!

3. Bike Goal for IMLOU: 17 mph.  Because I don’t want to be on the bike more than 6 and a half hours.

4. Half Ironman Time Goal:  I would like to get to be able to do a 6:10-6:15 timeframe for a half ironman, which I will be completing in June 2014.

5. Swim BHAG:  This may be my most ambitious time goal… I would LOVE to swim under 30 minutes at the NOLA 70.3.  This would place our team in the top 3-4 for the swim rankings, based on last year’s results.  While I’m mostly doing this for fun, I am somewhat intimidated by my teammates.  Dave is a beast on the bike, and most of us can acknowledge that Mike is a speed demon on legs. I am much less competitive speed-wise than either of them, but I’d like to present them a respectable opportunity to try and win the co-ed award for the race.  This is scary for me because I’m not sure if its’ possible.  It requires me to drop 30 seconds off of my 100yd pace from last season (although that was in a full triathlon, not a swim-only event).  I’m just not sure if it’s even reasonable, and I’m also a little nervous about my shoulder I spent so much time rehabbing and lots of time now maintaining strength.

So that’s more than 3 goals, and it’s a little nerve-wracking to put these out on the internetz for public consumption & judgement, but this will be an AWESOME training and racing cycle if WHEN I accomplish all of these.

ironman inspiration motivation


*Ok well two hours ago now, between penning this, doing some quick research on past results, and eating dinner.  But who’s counting?!

And then there was one more…

No, not that type of baby.  I hope we’re not on Babywatch 2014.  A real baby may interfer with my 140.6 plans as well as general shenanigans!

I’d like to introduce y’all to our newest bike baby – my new Cervelo! I haven’t figured out what to name her yet, but I am pretty sure this is a “she”.

I got her at the Running Away Multisport Dutch Bike sale last weekend, and picked her up right before we headed off to Tucson.  With all of the excitement of prepping for the weekend away, I didn’t get a chance to ride her as “mine” until I got back.  (A Dutch auction, BTW, is where the bikes were all 15% off on the first day, then 20% off on the second day, etc. I got my bike on the last day at 35% off!)

She has new pedals; I’m switching from SPDs to “speedplay” pedals and I spent some time on the trainer yesterday to practice clipping in and out on the new system as well as to get used to the more aggressive geometry of this bike.

She’s a 48 inch bike w/ 650 cc wheels, so she’s smaller than what I’ve been on before.  But it feels more natural.  I’ve questioned if my shoulder pains that I’ve struggled with were potentially due to too-large bikes, as my pain has increased when I increase my cycling volume.

I took her out for a little spin, too.  Clipping in & out and getting used to a new bike’s balancing takes some time, and I have the battle wound to prove it.  Received within a block of my riding her.  After that though, no further wounds!

skinned knee

Happy Monday – ride on!