It’s been a week since I finished IM Louisville so I thought it was about time to sit down and write a brief recap on it. I figure it’s the last thing to do after almost not even making it to the start line because of my hip. Seriously, I still can’t believe that after 2 PT’s, 1 chiro and a doctor, no one was able to say “hey, here’s the problem”. It wasn’t until a friend gave me some awesome NSAID’s that I was able to run. Whatever was the problem was fixed by taking those and continuing to run. A lot. No kidding. Ok, rant over 🙂
So after several months of getting in tons of volume training, so we could finish the race, we were there and it was game on!
I like to make my own food the night before races. I have a super sensitive stomach and I don’t want to risk food poisoning of any sort. I ended up making a super easy butternut squash and goat cheese penne pasta with a simple roasted chicken. A good amount of healthy carbs, some low fiber that was easily digestible and some lean protein. Good little combo right there!
One of the things that’s happening with most Ironman races is that they are moving to a rolling start. No longer are there mass starts that you see at Kona. Now you need to get in line and wait until it’s start time and then everyone shuffles to the start. I wasn’t prepared for the Louisville line being as long as it was. I couldn’t believe it. I needed to hand my friend Maggs something before the swim start and when I texted her to see where she was at with another friend, her response was “We are a 10 minute walk away”. I was like bullshit and started walking to find her. Totally not bullshit. The damn thing really was about a mile long. So, if anyone out there is a super slow swimmer or a 16-17 hour IM finisher, get to the front of the line because it does take about 45 minutes to an hour to get everyone in the water. And don’t even get me started on the cold and the pee……
Anyways, into the water I went in after waiting 30 minutes. I had a bad swim (might have had something to do with seeing my asshole ex right before). Granted, it’s not like I swam a lot, but I should have come out of the water after 1:15 or so like Dwight. I’m not sure exactly what happened other than I think I just swam too easy and serpentined my way down the Ohio River with my head not quite in the game at that point. When I got out of the water I jogged to T1 and then apparently I decided to take a nap or something in T1’s tent. I know I wasn’t exactly rushing or anything, but geez 15 minutes is a bit ridiculous. Side note: it’s a zoo in there. You better be prepared for bare asses in your face!
Take Away: Swim harder and avoid T1 tent at all costs since it looks like I get lost in there.
I probably couldn’t have picked a worse bike course for me except for maybe Tahoe or something. I have a mental thing happening with any type of climbing when it comes to the bike. It’s just not really my thing but I really shouldn’t be as bad I am. I was ok out there and was hitting the power numbers I was supposed to without struggling. Well, that was until I got the dreaded sour stomach….:( I ate sandwiches during training rides and for some stupid reason I thought I’d eat Bonk Breaker bars during the race. I was like “it’s still real food and I’ll continue to drink Skratch so I’ll be ok”. Nope. About mile 80 is when I couldn’t take anything else in. I was even a struggle to drink. I mentally started going in a hole because it wasn’t enough time to physically bonk. Just mentally. I limped on in and was wondering how in the world I was going to be able to do this run. When I got off the bike I just walked back to transition mentally trying to regroup.
Take Away: Don’t be like dumbass Susan and change something on race day.
While I was walking back to transition from the bike, I decided I would take in a little extra nutrition for the first few miles on the run. The plan was to take in water, gatorade and coke at the aid stations and maybe a few gels because I was thinking I would rather walk through the aid stations. I was going to lose time but that was way better than blowing up and walking the entire run…….. It was a great idea besides the taking in extra nutrition part. You know how I ended up with a sour stomach on the bike? Yup, this little plan didn’t help it. By mile 12-13 the cramping was so bad I was looking for the porta potty. Then out of now where, the skies opened, the birds started chirping and Maggs pulled up next to me on her road bike. I still had to go jump in the porta potty but it was advice afterwards that saved me. She said swish gatorade around in the mouth, spit and try to sip on chicken broth. The best idea of the entire race that. By mile 16-17, I was feeling ok. I was able to run again!! Well, like a 9:30 pace run but I was moving! I ran my way right to the finish line stopping at aid stations and sipping on chicken broth! Maggs’s experience racing is really what saved my run because I was done when she showed up.
Take Away: Don’t “make-up” bike nutrition on the run and chicken broth is your friend.
At first I had all types of energy and felt great! Then the I didn’t. I told Dwight that I just wanted to get back to the car. I was super nauseas and over all bad stomach feeling from all the acid. When we got back to the car, I stripped down, got under a blanket and took a Zantac because that should help…. Or maybe not. We drove over to transition so Dwight could grab our bikes and gears. Well, this is when the proverbial wheels came off. I started throwing up. Nude. Under a blanket. With a few homeless guys watching me. I eventually got a fleece on in between the throwing up so I could get sick only partially nude….. Dwight made it back to the car and asked if there was anything he could help me with. “Jeans” I said “I need pants” because at this point I was puking only half nude with an audience. Eventually we made it back to the condo and I started feeling better. Great time to take a hot bath to defunk right? Yeah, that was another mistake. I over heated and started feeling really sick again. I started yelling for Dwight to help me up so I could puke again. Super sexy.. Then just about that time, my friend Maggs was knocking on the door to see if Dwight needed some help with me. He went to the door, I went to the toilet and then stumbled out to the bed in a towel saying that the hot bath was a bad idea. Seriously, don’t take a hot bath when sick after a race. Luckily, Maggs brought some watermelon and OJ over for me. The sugar was the best thing ever! I was able to keep it down and actually started feeling like a normal human again. Dwight was great through all this, especially since he just finished an Ironman himself. He made me drink some more water before I went to sleep because he was worried about me. Luckily the next morning I peed which meant I was ok :). Those weird things that we all get excited about after an Ironman race 🙂
Take Away: Don’t take a Zantac. Just don’t.
Anyways, all in all, I’m ok with the race. It wasn’t as fast I should have done, but I did at least finish, so I’ll take it.