Tuesday, September 4, 2012

IM Louisville Bike Race Report

After jumping on Boomer, I left the crowds and the cheers with a smile on my face. I was not worried about the bike leg and I knew I could survive it, especially since I had rode the course about a month before the race. Actually you can just click over here, if you want the more technical version of the course as I'm just mostly rambling about how I felt right now. 
The first 15 miles are so easy, we must have had a tail wind. I was holding around 20mph without effort and my legs felt good. I knew this was too fast and everyone tells you to take it slow, but like I said it was still easy effort. I had eaten a snickers in T1, so I was good on food for about 45 -60 minutes.

The bike course was pretty crowded and the drafting rule was somewhat a joke. Not that people were drafting on propose, it was just hard simply to find space to stay the correct bike distance behind someone. The out and back (or the stick) section of the course was really bad. This is the section with hills. People were crazy, crossing double yellows, flying around people going 40mph. I guess Victoria saw me around here and yelled my name, but I never herd her. On one of the hills, there was a guy dressed in a devils costume and there was also death. They made me chuckle as I gave them high fives. The water bottle hand off on this section was also crazy. People would just stop as other cyclists would then almost crash into that stopped person. This is actually the first time I have ever done a water bottle hand off. It was easy though. I took the bottle and just squeezed it into my aero bottle and tossed. Then I would fish a Gu Brew tablet out of my jersey and drop it in my bottle as well.
I knew the course from riding it and was getting excited as we approached LaGrange. I knew my family would be there and I knew there would be crowd support.

This was actually my favorite section of the course. The crowd was awesome and seeing my family really lifted my spirits even if it was only for seconds that I saw them. But I was feeling good and made it to the cheering section around 2:15 into the bike. I was right on my target pace.

I was also keeping up with my nutrition and eating honey stinger chews / PB&J sandwiches about every 45 minutes. I also made sure to take my salt tab every hour and I was grabbing a new water bottle every 10 miles at the aid stations, so I felt like I was drinking plenty.
I saw my friend Ashley at about mile 50 on the bike and we chatted a bit. But she is too fast for me, so off she went. It was around this point that we passed the beautiful Kentucky horses, but it was hot out and all I could smell was horse shit and there was nothing beautiful about that! It was also around here that I saw a bunch of people changing flats. I had herd the locals hate us and sometimes put tacks on the road. I would later find out that this is what indeed happened. Luckily I got no flats.
We do two loops around LaGrange and by the end of the first loop, I was still feeling good. But, I was looking forward to special needs around mile 68. A snickers and a coke. My super power foods. I made it to special needs and a volunteer held my bike as I ran to the port-a-potties while stuffing my snickers down my throat. It was not melted! Thank you mommy! I opened my hot coke and it exploded all over me. Pop everywhere! Hands, arms, face. #fail. I was stopped for a total of 4 minutes which isn't too bad.
Shortly down the road I got to see my family again! I saw Jason and my Dad first then I saw my sis, mom, and Joe and little bit down the road. Once again, I was so happy to see them! I knew it was hot out and I knew it was a long day for them too. So I was so thankful to have them there! Love them so much.

It was a little after this point that things started to go down hill for me. I don't know what was happening. My feet had gone numb and they hurt to pedal. I would try to coast for as long as I could and try scrunching my feet up to give them a break. It wasn't working. I wanted to stop and take a 5 minute break. I didn't stop. I should have stopped. Maybe it would have made my feet feel better? But I kept going. We were riding into a head wind and this point and my garmin just kept telling me ... you are slow! I tried not looking at the stupid thing, but I looked at it every minute I think. Time was not moving. .5 mile of a mile had gone by, then .6, but it felt like it was taking 10 minutes to go a mile. Then my stomach started hurting. No! WTF was happening to my day. I kept pedaling. "90 miles, 95 miles, you can do this." "You only have like 6 laps around Haines Point left. Easy."
But those last miles were nothing but easy. As I got closer and closer to Louisville people were just sitting in the grass with there heads down. I guess they were having a hard time too. The last 5 miles were the worst. I did mange to pick my pace back up to 16.5 or so. Then my garmin beeped 100 miles. 2 miles left! 

I saw another guy on the side of the road laying in the grass defeated. He only had two miles left. What had happened that he couldn't finish 2 miles? Then after the longest two miles of my life, I herd cheers and saw the crowd. I was there. I had finished the bike. I saw my family and smiled. Yeah I had missed my goal of a 6:30 split, but it didn't matter. I had made it. 

I dismounted off Boomer and handed her to a volunteer and ran into the Bike in. One step closer to becoming an Ironman. One step closer. But I still had the dreaded run in front of me.... 

Bike Time: 6:54:43


  1. Wow! Sounds like you had the right plan in place and were doing the nutrition and hydration like you are supposed to, glad you were able to push through the pain! Great bike finish! I can't believe that guy had to stop with only 2 miles left that breaks my heart!

  2. Looking at speed on the bike can ONLY be frustrating, you'll either freak out (TOO FAST!) or be annoyed (TOO SLOW!). You did what you could on a hot, windy day. Congrats!!

  3. Sounds super tough. Crazy that someone had stopped just two miles away from the end. Congrats on sticking it out!

  4. what a great recap. for a IM hopeful like me reading this is very helpful. thanks! can't wait to hear about your run.

  5. Great job Sarah! I can't believe people put tacks on the roads, what jerks! I'm glad you came into transition smiling :)

  6. The data will be removed entirely in its new incarnation.
    Now, as it solves quite a few deserve special mention. More Sam is a
    21-year-old student at Harvard who has already spent four years in Mexico,
    where the kind of prolonged usage you used to know in high

    Feel free to surf to my weblog Hosting.iptelecom.net.ua