So over the weekend I drove close to 1200 miles round trip. Why? Well to go stalk the Louisville courses of course.
I was really nervous on Thursday night before leaving thinking I would forget something, then I was even more nervous on Friday night before meeting up with the IAMTRI training group. I don't know why I was so nervous, but it almost felt like race day.
First before I go into the course details, I will say that IAMTRI put on a great training weekend! It was only $20 bucks to swim, bike, and run over two days. I think this is a great deal! They were well organized and had aided stations along the bike and run courses. I am so thankful for all the volunteers through out the day to make this training weekend possible.
8:00am swim start - we walked down from the yellow parking lot, down to Louisville's swim start.
We were not swimming the entire course, but just part of the course that runs along the small island, then we turned around. Just like race day we jumped off the dock about 10-15 seconds apart. The water itself, did not feel overly warm to me and it actually felt nice. Also, the water did not seem dirty and there was no weird floaty things in it. As for current, I felt none and there was no chop at all. I was happy when I finished the swim and hope this is how it feels in 4 weeks!
Louisville Bike Course:
One word: LOVE. Yes, I love the bike course and couldn't be happier that I am doing this course for my first ironman.
* The first 10 miles or so along River Road are very flat, which will be a great start on the bike. Although along this section the pavement is a little uneven and there is a lot of potholes. This was not an issue for the training weekend, but it may be when the course is more crowded. There is also railroad tracks that you have to go over which are a little scary. I rode very slow over them, and plan to do the same thing during race day.
* Once off River and onto US-42 you have some hills, but nothing too serious. I don't ever remembering thinking, OMG, this sucks, because it didn't. Although there was wind. Not sure if this is normal?
* There is a 10 mile stick that you go on which is filled with hills. You go flying down them, then pedal slowly going back up them. But once again, the hills aren't that bad and this is coming from someone who sucks at hills. I just put Boomer into the small ring and pedaled slowly and made it to the top without killing myself.
* Once finished with the stick you go back onto US-42 and then turn onto Hwy 393 to start the LaGrange Loop (two loops). The first half of the loop has a gradual incline. At times during this section I would look at my garmin and wonder why I was only going 11mph. False flats get me every time. This may be my least favorite part of the course. Well along with the dead skunk in the middle of the road. There is one little hill in this loop that I had to get out of my saddle for. It's the only time I had to get out of my saddle. It is a short, but steep little hill. There are also a couple unexpected turns which take place right after a decent, so you just have to be ready to make the turns and change gears quickly to climb back up the hills you turn onto.
*After finishing the second loop you head back into the city. It is a net down hill. Although, I didn't feel like I was going downhill all that much, but my garmin told me I was def. picking up speed which was nice.
The last few miles are back on River Road which is flat :)
*Overall the course is great with a total elevation gain of 3100 feet. Although the locals not so much. We were flicked off a few times, yelled at the go home, and yelled at the get the f' off the road. Lovely.
Louisville Run Course:
Ok, well I actually didn't do the run course. The group was meeting at 8:30 and I wanted to start earlier since we had a 10.5 hour drive home. Instead we started our run at 6:30 and ran along the Ohio River front and then ran some parts of the city. It was when I saw some chickens cross the road that I turned around and headed back to the hotel. I covered 12 miles and would image much of the run course will be the same: FLAT. yes, no hills!
I am now no longer nervous for the race and am so glad I made the trip out to Louisville. It was well worth the long drive and I had a great training weekend. 4 more weeks until I get to cross the finish line here!
I am getting so excited! I can't wait to here the words "You are an Ironman"