Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ironman Louisville Race Report - Bike

Wednesday, August 28, 2013  at 9:32 PM
In case you missed the report on the swim, you can read it HERE.  Just to recap, I did it 10 minutes faster than I thought I would and actually did the transition a couple minutes faster too.  That was the last time that I focused on my goal time for the rest of the day.

The bike course at Louisville is known for its hills.  I would describe it as relentless hills.  None of them are too terrible, and they really aren't any worse than the hills of Atlanta.  I had driven up to ride the course back in May (read my report HERE) and had formed a strategy to ride it for race day.  On the preview ride in May, I had only ridden the loop once and had dragged back to the car a beaten cyclist, although I did average 17.8mph. Here's what the course looks like.

After riding the last couple months up to race day, I had decided to take it super easy for the first 80 miles, at like 15-16mph, and then pick up the pace and hope to get close to 17mph for the whole ride.

I saw Jenn and my dad as I ran through the Bike Out arch.  Can you see the white thing in the pocket on my jersey?  That is a sweet card from my awesome wife!  She gave me one for T1 and T2.  I was hustling and didn't want to stop, so I threw it in there and decided to read it at my darkest mile.  It totally came in to play later on in the ride.  Don't I have a crazy awesome wife?  She's amazing, and I couldn't have done this without her.  After leaving transition, I saw my brother-in-law, Trevor, and his wife, Wyntre.
Low Res from Finisherpix
The first 10 miles or so are super flat, and it is hard not to kill it there.  I just listened to my legs and just spun easy through there.  I was averaging about 20mph.  There were several nasty holes in the road, but I had ridden it already, so I knew where they were.  I did see one guy crash pretty hard right behind me.  I think he was alright.
Low Res from Finisherpix
The course gets hilly and has a nasty out-and-back section where there were several accidents.  I stayed in the saddle for this entire time and for the first 80 miles, for that matter.  My goal was to drink one 24oz bottle of water, the 16oz water chamber in my aero bottle and part of my Powerade before the first aid station...and I did that!  I was spot on for my nutrition throughout the ride.  I drank and drank and drank and drank!  There was no way that my day was going to end because I was dehydrated.

At mile 40, the course goes through a viewing area in the town of LaGrange.  Jennifer, Caffrey, Trevor and Wyntre had driven out there and met up with Tom and Colleen and Abigail Kingery who had driven up especially to cheer me on.  It was so awesome to see them all there!  I stopped just for a few seconds to snag a kiss from the wife and to say "hi" to everyone else.  They were the best crew EVER!!!
Low Res pic from Finisherpix
Around this time, I passed a girl who yelled, "Smitty?"  I turned around to see Coy Martinez.  She had just recently signed up to do Ironman Louisville as her first Ironman.  We chatted it up and tried to spin to save the legs.  For some reason, I ended up dropping her, but I would see her later.  I started the second loop and stopped at the Special Needs bags to get my second Powerade.  Erika, had told me a special trick to freeze it and wrap it in tin foil to keep it cold.  It was PERFECT and tasted SO good!!  Thanks for the tip!!!  I saw my dad and grandpa, and the rest of the cheering team in LaGrange on the second loop and that's about the time everything started to be questionable.  My legs were TIRED!  What happened?  I had ridden the course exactly how I had planned.  I hadn't pushed it.  I had done my nutrition exactly how I needed it.  I was worried.

Coy caught back up to me, and I could barely hang with her.  As we came up to an aid station, she encouraged me to get some ice.  I stopped and took several minutes to stuff ice in my shorts to sit on my quads to help them relax.  Just that ice water on my face and neck felt really good.  It was 90+ degrees outside, although I didn't really notice it being that hot.  Soon after the ice stop, I couldn't hang with Coy, and she dropped me pretty easily.  Guess what?  It was mile 80, and that was when I was supposed to throw down the hammer, right?  Nope!  Not for me.  My legs were toasted, and it was really frustrating!!!  I had done what I was supposed to, but it wouldn't be my day to throw down a really good bike split.  I was sitting up more and just trying to get home.  One thing that didn't leave my face was my smile.  There was no way I was going to drop into a bad attitude!
Low Res from Finisherpix
The last 32 miles were really tough.  I was getting passed by everyone, and it was all I could do to just keep pedaling and try to save the ride.  My computer reset itself, so I had no idea exactly how much further I had to go.  It was about this time that I decided to open up that card from Jennifer.  She had written a super sweet message and it had a picture of the whole family in there.  It was AWESOME and got me the rest of the way back.  Finally, I rolled into transition and new that the run was going to be super tough!  My bike average ended up being a super slow 15.59mph.  In hindsight, I think I would have just gone out hard on the bike to try and have a decent bike time that I know I could have done instead of trying to save my legs for the run.

The bike catchers were cool and grabbed my back and racked it for me.  I made my way to the changing tent to see guys throwing up, some just collapsed in chairs, some trying to get fluids in them.  It was pretty sad.  I took my time to change (15 minutes), and made sure I had everything.  Then it was on to the "run."

Thanks for reading!!  I'll give the run report tomorrow.


kessia reyne

Oh, man! Those temperatures! How was your foot feeling during the race? --the one that got banged up exiting the water?

And, hey, have you ever ridden those hills in that temperature for that long at that speed? I'd say it was AWESOME. Great pics of you, too! I hope you buy some of them!

Ironman By Thirty

Way to stay positive! It sounds like your bike started to get challenging right as mine did (mile 70-80-ish). I bet it was the temperatures that drained you. That stuff just sucks the energy out of you.

Looking forward to the run post!

Unrelated but I just saw a commercial for NASCAR Atlanta... any chance you are going? That would be a great IM recovery :)

Rachel Keele

I'm loving these posts! And I also want to know about that foot!

Coy Martinez

That Louisville course is tough. I've ridden it 2 handfuls of times and I got it wrong more than I got it right. You did great out there! It was hot and those hills, well, you know, they're monsters! HAHAHA! I was so happy to see you out there! Just having a familiar face and being able to chat, even if that guy yelled at us!


Relentless hills is right Good job Smitty!

Cory Reese

Great recap, can't wait to read about the run. It's amazing how much of a boost you can get from something as simple as a card or picture. So cool that your family is so supportive.

They got some cool pictures of you!


Loved the bike recap and I cannot wait to read about the run. It was pretty awesome that you ran into Coy on the bike course! Loved that you did not read the card until your "darkest" moment on the bike - I love your wife!!

Great pics and loved that you coordinated with the bike colors....Or did that just happen?


It is great when you achieve your goals and keep moving forward! In order to get help with my fitness goals and receive the most recent information on trainings, exercising and right nutrition I am reading I have found a lot of tips which help me keep moving and never stop!


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