Ironman Louisville Race Report – Part 1 (Pre-Race)

Instead of having a blog post that would take you an hour to read, I’m going to break my Ironman Louisville Race Report into several smaller posts. The first one will cover everything I did from the time I woke up until we jumped in the water.
Before I actually get to the morning of the race, I wanted to mention that all three of my children had a little cold the week leading up to the race. Stuffy noses and coughs. When this started early in the week, I thought that I would surely have the same symptoms come race day. All week long, I was sure to wash my hands, drink plenty of water and several times a day, I put doTERRA Essential Oils on. Specifically, the On Guard blend. We use essential oils in our house daily and this stuff works. I woke up on race day and never had a single sign of a cold – despite having snot smeared on my face several times and and being breathed on by sick kids all week!
My alarm clock woke me up at 3:30am. I was happy with the fact that I was actually in a pretty deep sleep at the time. I didn’t toss and turn too much as my nerves were pretty calm. I hopped out of bed full of energy and ready to get the long day started. I took care of my business in the bathroom (very important aspect of race morning), and then I heated up my boiled sweet potato.
As I ate my sweet potato and almond butter (good mix of complex carbs and fats), I filled up my water bottles and double-checked all of my gear that I had to take with me. Dropping off my Bike Gear and Run Gear transition bags the day before makes for a pretty short race day check list. As I finished filling my bottles, Jeremy showed up. He was also racing and only lives three doors down (isn’t that a band?), so we decided to ride together.
I gave Jessica a kiss goodbye and we were out the door. We wanted to get a spot near the front of the swim start line, so Jeremy and I, along with our friends Bill and Shawn had come up with a plan. We all four met up at the swim start and Jeremy and Shawn waited in line while Bill and I went down to transition to put bottles on our bikes, pump up our tires, etc. Then we took their spot in line while they did the same. It worked out pretty well, but despite getting down to the swim start at 4:30, we still cut it a little close. Jeremy and Shawn didn’t get back to the line until around 6:30…and the race stared at 7! The only nervous time I had all morning was when I thought that they weren’t going to get back to the line before the race started!
The only thing I forgot to do when I was in transition was calibrate my bike power meter to my watch. This wasn’t a big deal, but I just had to remember to do it once I got on my bike after the swim.
When Bill and I get back down to the line, we had to body marked. One of by pet-peeves is have my number be neat. Don’t ask me why, but I get pissed if they look sloppy. There are at least 10 people doing body marking, so I watched a few of them before deciding witch one to have do my numbers. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m not normal.
Waiting in line at the swim start. From left to right (Jeff, Scott, Me, Chip, Bill and Shawn). Jeremy was also with us, but I guess he was in the bathroom or something…
While we waited in line, we got to talk to lots of fellow Landsharks and competitors from out of town. Standing in line with friends and cutting-up helps keep everyone loose. Being able to race with friends is one of the things that I love most about triathlons. While your race results are shown as an individual, it’s definitely a team sport.
I popped some Clif Shot Blocks around 6:30 for a little blood sugar spike and a bit of caffeine – making sure to chase them with almost a full bottle of water. I had been sipping on water all morning. I had even dissolved a NUUN tablet in one of the bottles. I knew that it was going to be a hot day and I wanted to make sure I was on top of my hydration from the beginning. I also took time to put on some sunscreen. I packed another tube in my Run Gear bag so that I could re-apply before the run. I did lots of research on what sun screen to use and several triathlete message boards and reviews recommended Planet Sun. I have to give it my seal of approval as well. After spending 12 hours in the sun, my arms were only slightly red and I have no sun burn.
The National Anthem was sung and then My Old Kentucky Home was played by Steve Buttleman, the official bugler of the Kentucky Derby. It gives me cold-chills every time! Then at 6:50am, the pro’s race started. We watched them swim upsteam until they were out of sight, then the volunteers lead the line of almost 3000 athlete’s down to the docks.
I reached down and got my goggles and hands wet. I put on my goggles and swim cap and was ready to rock and roll. This is the only part where I remember being nervous. Just standing there waiting to start. It seemed like a long time, but it was really only just a few minutes. The cannon fired and the first athlete’s started to jump off of the docks into the water. The line slowly started to move and before I knew it, I hit the start button on my watch and jumped in! My 2013 Ironman Louisville race had begun!
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