Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ironman Louisville...Race Report - The Bike

A volunteer quickly handed me my bike bag and I was running into the women's changing tent.  Well, I guess I should say that I ran into the women's only after I started to run into the men's tent.  I was reassured that I was more than welcome to join in with the men if I wanted to!

I found a spot and started to grab everything out of my bag.  At this point I had no idea how long I had been in the water and I did not know how close I was to the cut off.  In my mind, I was really flirting with danger on time. 

I dried off as quickly as I could and shoved a Honey Stinger Waffle into my mouth.  I ate it so quickly, that I almost forgot that I had eaten it at all!  Extremely lady like, you know!

As I was removing my swimsuit, I noticed some nasty that was along my bra line.  Yuck.  I can only imagine what all I swallowed when I was trying to get out of the current of doom.

I got dressed as fast as I could and headed out with my helmet and sunglasses and stopped at the sunscreen tent for a little slathering.  Um yeah, I could have done a better job than the lady did on applying my sunscreen.  This was my only complaint for the day.  I ended up getting fried.  I was not the only one though, I saw several people with super odd lines where the sunscreen people missed. 

I grabbed my bike and as I was running out of the transition area, I saw Ken and Abby!  They were waving their hearts out and I was yelling something to them about the swim.  I am sure I did not make any sense at he point. 

Transition Time:  11:29

Headed out with a bra stuffed full of goodies!  Please take note of my crooked helmet.

This is the look of relief to be on solid ground!  And yes, I am posing.  Doesn't everyone stop and pose for pictures during an Ironman?

Just like that, I was on my way for a long day with Fern (my bike).  We had cloud cover for a little bit, but it quickly went away and the sun was out in full force.  The first several miles of the course are on River Road, which is a flat section that runs along you guessed it, the Ohio River.  I kept looking out over the river and was so happy I was no longer in that water!

I drank as much of my Gu Brew as possible before the first aid station, but did not have all of it drank, so I kept it and grabbed a bottle of water.  My stomach was a little upset and I knew it was from ingesting so much water during the swim.  In the effort to keep it real, I was worried that I may have had a small accident in my pants. 

I made it my mission to be on the look out for a porta potty.  I was so busy worrying about whether or not I had pooped my pants that I did not really notice the hills on the out and back section that everyone worries so much about.  At the end of 1694, I stopped at the aid station and went into the bathroom.  The coast was all clear, thank goodness!  I was not quite sure what I would have done had the situation been different. 

While I stopped and chugged on some cold water.  It tasted so good!  While I was getting back on my bike I heard a guy tell his friend that we are not pros and there is no shame in stopping at an aid station, especially when it is this hot.  I could not agree with him more! 

I left and made my way up the nasty hills to get back to the main part of the course to start the first loop.  I was taking salt pills at the bottom of the hour and a GU at the top of the hour.  I was also snacking on my Cherry Cola Honey Stinger Chews that were in my bento box.  With my stomach still bothering me, I sometimes pushed eating a GU off by 15 or 20 minutes.  I think I only ended up eating three GU's, since I ate a few other things after special needs.

Once I was on the first loop, I was greeted with all of the fast riders that were on their second loop.  This is always my least favorite part because the fast people are really fast!  I was looking forward to riding through La Grange with all of the people out watching and cheering. 

Being a female, you hear a lot of "You go Girl", "Girl Power", and "Pink Power" and many other things that I am sure I am forgetting.  I always smile and wave at the spectators and tell them thank you.  They do not have to be out there!

The part of the course that I hate the most is after La Grange when we turn left onto Ballard School Road.  The hills on this section get me every time.  Plus, we have to do this section twice.  The only reason made it through this section with no pitty party, is because I knew I was not too far from seeing my crew.

There were a few more tough hills after we turned off of Ballard Road, but several people were out cheering, making it tolerable.  Also, the homes on this stretch were absolutely gorgeous!  We made a left and I was instantly on the look out for my fans.  We rode a half mile or so and I saw the 50 mile mark and knew that I would seem them any moment.  I saw a left turn coming up and started to get worried that maybe I missed them?

My IronFan's set up.  They had a cooler full of beer and food for grilling!  It was like they were tailgating!

That is when I heard the loudest airhorn ever and saw Ken, Abby, and Scott cheering and holding their signs!  They had a complete set up that included a pop up tent and of course a cooler full of beer.  They were definitely making a day of it!

Oh, speaking of signs.  Yeah, my crew had the best signs on the entire course. 

This ended up being one of the more popular signs on the entire course!

I just about peed my pants when I saw this one, especially after I my earlier incident

I gave them the biggest smile I could and got a huge energy boost from seeing them.  The signs made me laugh so hard that I was still laughing miles down the road.

I made it to the turn where I had to loop around for my second loop.  I was certainly dreading two parts of the second loop, but also was looking forward to special needs, La Grange, and seeing my crew.  This helped out so much!  I also reminded myself that this was the last time I would have to ride on these hills!

I talked to a girl named Holly on the bike for a bit.  She told me she was having a hard time because she did not train on hills for the bike.  Plus, it was much hotter than it had been all summer.  I looked her up after the race, and sadly, she did not finish the run.  

My helmet was really hurting the side of my head.  I caught a look at my shadow and realized that is because it was crooked on my head.  Seriously, it was so crooked.  I did this in 2012 too and had some weird after effects from it.  I told myself to fix it at special needs.  At least I realized it was crooked early this year instead of wearing it crooked for 112 miles like I did in 2012.  That is progress.  Maybe next time I can put it on straight???

I made it special needs and was so excited about eating my Payday!  As in, no grown adult should be that excited about a candy bar.  I had a nice volunteer who talked to me while I shoved the Payday in my mouth.  I told her my mom would be so embarrassed if she saw me eating a candy bar without chewing it first!

I was also so excited to finally talk to someone about the swim.  I was a complete motor mouth telling this nice lady that I thought I was going to drown.  She pulled my chamois butter out of my bag and asked me if I wanted it.  Um, yeah I do!  My crotch is on fire, were my exact words to her.

I had no shame at that point and just squirted the butter on my crotch.  It was really quite funny having my hands down my pants out in the open.  Once again, a proud moment for my mom.

I grabbed my Keebler Rainbow Chip cookies and put them in my bento box, had my sweet volunteer spray me with sunscreen, thanked her, and was on my way.  I knew I only had 12 miles before I saw my crew again, so I was pretty excited.

We rode through La Grange with a lot of people still out screaming.  Soon enough, it was time to make the turn onto Ballard School Road.  I shouted to the policeman that was waving us to turn that this was my least favorite part.  He told me he would not take that personally, ha, ha!

I remember stopping and taking a Gu somewhere on Ballard Road.  That is when I saw a guy pass me where jean shorts!  I was kind of like WTF?  But in reality, I was wearing a skirt and leopard print sunglasses, so who am I to judge!

After the horrible hills, it was time to turn and I was just a few miles from seeing my crew.  I was still eating my Keebler cookies, taking salt and drinking as much as possible.  I never got any leg cramps at all during the entire ride.  My legs did feel a little tired, and I knew it was from the excessive kicking I did while on my back in the river.  Oh well, I was still doing well on time.

As I started to make the turn on Old Sligo Road, the policemen monitoring the course told me I was wearing the biggest smile they had seen all day.  Well, I am sure that had nothing to do with the 6'5 man blowing the airhorn just feet away!

I stopped and chatted with Ken for a few minutes, while Abby took my trash that was in my bra.  I asked about my swim time, and they told me it was 1:39.  My jaw dropped.  I told them about how horrible it was and laughed.  Ken was very concerned about the heat, but I told him I was fine.  I got a kiss and was on my way.

As I pedaled away, I read the new signs they had and once again, I just about peed my pants.  One said you have the desire and the other said and your crotch is on fire!  I shouted back that MY CROTCH IS ON FIRE!!!!  I was on my way and super excited to be on mile 81.  

I pedaled on and was so happy that I was nearing the end of the bike.  I drank as much as possible and still ate my Honey Stinger chews.  The last 20 miles or so are pretty flat and once we hit that, I felt home free.  I knew I could still get a flat tire and still make the cutoff at this point.

I passed a man that was pulled over on the side of the road.  He asked me if I knew what time the bike cut-off was.  I felt bad for him, I am sure he had not anticipating needing to know that info, as he looked like a super experienced athlete.  I am not sure if he finished or not.

I passed by my group of favorite spectators that were under a tree drinking.  Once again, they went ape shit just like they did in 2012.  Seriously, they were clearly having so much fun cheering for people.  

Once I saw the river, I knew I was getting close.  At this point, I was just telling myself not to wreck or get hit by a car and you got this!  I was kind of over drinking, but I knew I needed to guzzle a little more fluids before the run.  Please do not offer me anything that resembles lemon-lime for a few more weeks.

I teared up just before rolling into the bike finish.  I was so proud of myself for overcoming the struggles during the swim and then riding 112 miles in such heat.  I was really happy!  

I came rolling into the bike finish and was so excited to be off my bike!  I dismounted and saw Ken and yelled something to him about my crotch really taking a beating.  On any other day, that would probably be a major turn on, but not on August 24, 2014.

I handed my bike to a volunteer and was thrilled that Fern was now in someone else's hands.  It was now time to go change to head out to run a marathon. 

Bike Time:  8:05:46  (Which is also the same amount of time we were in the car driving to Louisville from Kansas City)


Cori said...

Great recall! I literally had to go to the bathroom after I read this. I was living vicariously through your post to the point that it upset my stomach! LOL

What would you compare the hills to? Do you have any recommendations for comparable hills to train on?

Great job, friend!!!

Emily said...

This is my favorite of the different parts of your race report, if only because I too suffer from Crooked Helmet Syndrome. I can't get it on straight to save my life! Regardless of the helmet--nice work out there, lady!