Ironman Louisville, my first Ironman! What am I thinking? Believe it or not nothing, I was amazingly calm the entire time. Chilling out, having fun, smiling!
Leading up to the race, the only time I felt nervous or jittery was when I put my gear outside, waiting for my friend Tim to come pick me up. As soon as I felt fidgety, I drank a beer and was fine! Soon Tim pulled up and we were on our way to Louisville. There was one important things that we had to do prior to hitting Louisville, which was eat a big ol' Porterhouse steak. Starting with Muncie, this was my new pre-race meal. Note that I took off the 1/2 lb of butter that they put on the sweet potato and I did not eat the 1/2 cup of cinnamon brown sugar, even though I really wanted to!
The (pre) Pre-Race Meal - Thursday before the race
Pre-Race Lunch - Friday
Found this number on accident. We were trying to find a local Target to buy a cooler, instead...solid ass BBQ! And yes, this is a pound of brisket :)
One of the reasons why I was so calm was that I had my trusty checklist. This was created by another Ironman, Brian, who used this in various races. I modified it based on my required gear and SNB configurations. I also had various tabs related to desired race nutrition vs projected vs actuals #datageek!
Enough B.S...now onto the race!
Swim - 2.4 miles
Ah the swim, or better yet, the "let's see how many times you can get punched and kicked in the face in the Ohio River" portion of the race. As you can see from the photo above, I was excited about the swim. Tim, the guy behind me, was even more excited them me. He did a sick cannonball to enter the river, which made me laugh before jumping in.
So the swim, I just chill with my all day pace. I figured i'd swim a 1:30 no matter what, because I only have one speed. I could have swam faster, but I was too busy getting my ass kicked in the water. I was kicked and punched so many times, it was starting to annoy me. Worse is that ever since I jumped in the river, my left quad was telling me it wasn't happy, and was tightening up with every kick! Anyways since I breathe to the left, I usually veer to the left, which left me pretty much alone to swim by myself, at least in my previous races. Not at IMKY! I guess the left was were all the action was! Next time, I'm going to have to train like in the Cliff Tri Start commercial, this will better prepare me for the carnage!
So after I make it past the island, I'm getting into my groove. For whatever reason, Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" was stuck in my head...on a loop! I pass bouy #4 and am headed to #5, where the river starts to open up a bit and then it happened! My left leg, quad - hammy - calf - foot, all seize up on me! I'm in the middle of the damn river, maybe one mile into the Ironman, and this happens. I try to shake it off, but then panic sets in. My breathing increases and then I feel my HR spike. I'm scared, i'm panicking! I'm thinking please don't let me race end here! I hear my son say, "Daddy, are you going to cross the finish line? I hope you do because I want to see you do that." I hear that, but the panic is still there. The, outta nowhere, BLAMMO...I get punched right in the right side of my face by another swimmer! I immediately call him a motherf**ker, roll over on my back, and just chill. Oddly enough, whenever I would feel agitated with my leg, or with this brief open water panic, Radioheads "Everything is in the Right Place" would pop into my head. So after I regroup, I head to the first turn and continue on with my swim. I was fine with the entire swim after that, often pausing to check out the awesome views of the river and various bridges. I get out of the water in around 1:30 and head to T1 to get my bike gear. Here is where MJ (coach) told me that she yelled out to me and I blew her off with a nasty face. I guess I was still annoyed with the swim!
Non-panic Swim Song
Panic Swim Song
T1 - Swim to Bike Transition
I run into T1, get by Bike Gear Bag, and head into the Men's Tent...and immediately run out of it because it was a damn sauna! Nasty! Instead of dealing with that hot mess, I sit down outside, get all my gear on and...go to the bathroom (this will be first of many!). I then run, grab Miss Ruby, and we are off to the bike course!
Bike - 112 miles
"Don't blow up"
"You're going to blow up the bike course"
"You can't let people pass you, so you're going to blow up on the bike"
"You're going to kill the hills"
"Ride what you should, not what you could"
"Stay in your box"
..."Daddy, are you going to cross the finish line? I hope you do because I want to see you do that."
These are all the things that were going thru my head as I jumped on the bike. Soon they were replaced with, "WTF is that weird sound coming from the front of my bike". Never heard it before, why not start today, Miss RUBY! The noise bothered me, but I continued on, hoping it was nothing and would go away! I'm cruising down River Road, just chilling, trying not to crush it and I come upon HW 42...damn that seemed fast. As I'm rolling on 42, i'm looking at the various cars that are backed up, waiting for a break in the bike traffic. You can easily see why the locals hate hosting the Ironman here. They were frustrated, some pissed and getting out of their cars. I just continued on and went to shift, when I noticed my right aerobar was turned inward...huh?!?!? Then I look at the bar is coming out. Awesome! Something else to deal with, MISS RUBY! I pull over, take out my tools and see if I can tighten the screw that I though was holding this in place. Unfortunately I did not have the right size allen wrench, and I later found out that I would have needed a special Vision tool anyways, so I was wasting my time. Back to riding! I continue on 42 and was surprised that I was already at the finger. I didn't feel like I was going that fast. I take the finger out and back and am back on 42, but not until an ambulance passes by. I guess some jagoff rider was riding carelessly down the finger and crash into another guy. The end result: the asshole kept riding, the other guy...hospital! Back to the recap. So now I am approaching 393 and the start of the first loop. Actually this is where things are uneventful, I just rode, keeping in aero, not crushing it, riding at a regular pace. I was having fun, no stomach issues, but my left quad kept saying hello! Why!?! As you start the second loop, you hit the Bike Special Needs area. I was looking forward to this spot for miles because I had a Starbucks Doubleshot and PB & Honey sandwich waiting for me! Nom nom nom! That was perfect! Bathroom again and I ran back to the special needs area to get my bag of Infinit to make a spare bottle. Luckily I did this because I did end up using 1/3 of it at the end of the ride! Out of special needs, I continue on the second loop. In my head i'm practically done with the bike. At mile 70, when shifting, I somehow drop my chain. Ugh! Whatever! I get off, fix it, and am back within minutes. The entire time i'm cycling, I am smiling, taking this entire experience in. I'm not crushing it or blowing it up like everyone said I would! At mile 100, I'm looking around and I see horses, which makes me laugh, because I start reciting out loud, to myself, the entire scene to Half Baked with the horse and cop. Literally out loud. I'm cracking up writing this just thinking about how I was reciting this scene.
I continue on River Road and it starts to sink in...I'm almost done with this mutha! Its during this time that I start to think about seeing my kids and I almost start to cry...lol. I see a guy struggling on his bike and I chat with him for a sec. He's dreading the run, trying to mentally prepare for it. I'm looking forward to the run, which is my favorite of the three. Now on to the run!
Garmin Bike Data
T2 - Bike to Run
I roll into T2 and my legs feel great. I hand-off my bike to the awesome volunteer and grab my Run Gear bag. I immediately head into the sauna (aka Mens tent) and put on my compression shorts, shoes, visor, and more body glide. I decided in T2 that I was going to ditch my run nutrition plan all together; I was sick of drinking/tasting Infinit Fruit Punch and I didn't want to hold a bottle! Oh well, seemed good on paper! Also, once again, I have to use the bathroom. At least the pipes were working and I wasn't dehydrated! Onto the run!
Run - 26.2
Ahhhh, the run! I made it! I run out of transition and immediately see my friend Melanie, who was full of an insane amount of positive energy, that I fed off of to start the run! She snapped the pic above. I ran out of the chute and turned right and that is when I saw them! Ethan, Riley, Erin, and Kristin were on the right holding up signs. This gave me the chills and made me extremely happy, since this was the first time I had seen them all day! The kids were holding signs that they made while in Louisville. I gave them all hugs and kisses and went on my way.
As I run out I hear my friend Brian tell me to focus on running slow out of T2. He said it will seem like you're doing nothing and you're running 8's. I check my watch, i'm running 8's...I need to slow down! I focus on slowing down and move out! Soon I would come upon the Irhkes, who I chatted with briefly and I was off. The run was hot, looking back, you could really start to feel it around the second or third mile. That being said, I was cruising along, when I saw Cort on the other side, damn was she flying. Soon later, I saw Fortner. I asked him how he felt, and he countered with a huge thumbs down, he later told me he almost dropped out at T2 due to a painful side stitch. I made my way to the turn around and it finally hit me, my stomach was killing me! I decided to ditch my version 2.0 run nutrition plan and worked on version 3.0. Version 3.0 introduced whole food to the mix in the form of Bonk Breakers! These things worked like magic! While my stomach was still blah, it felt better than prior to eating them. My stomach wasn't the only thing that was bothering me though...Mr. Left Quad decided to say hello and brought his friend the IT Band with him. I would continuously ice both of these guys for the remainder of the race. At mile 10 I use the bathroom and am relieved that my stomach problems are gone! I am back to my all day pace and am just taking in the run. Soon I am at the half way point, aka the Tease, which gives you a glimpse of the 4th Street Live finish line.
I turn and head into Run special needs. The volunteer there was amazing. She pulled out all my gear and asked me if I wanted it. I put on a new pair of Wigwam socks, which felt magical! I also brought Tums, gum, a bag of Chips, and a 20oz Coke. I decided to only have 5 chips and a sip of Coke, but was all over the Tums and gum. I thanked the volunteer and was on my way out for the second loop, I only had 13.1 mile left! I turn the corner and see Tim and he hands me a bottle of ice cold water, that water was awesome! I continued on and made a very dumb mistake. My socks were glorious because they were dry and at the next aid station I grabbed a sponge and worked on my left quad, which resulted in my socks being drenched! Dumb move!
As I continue on the second loop, i'm chatting with everyone, smiling, thanking the volunteers, and cracking jokes. On this loop, I met Carol from Oklahoma who did the Kansas 70.3 earlier this year, a woman from Cleveland who was doing her first IM, my friend Bernie, and Brian, who I met earlier in transition before the race started when I let him use my pump in transition. Brian was from Virginia. We chatted about the dumbest things, mostly related to our kids. The funniest story was that our sons both are big fans of Turtleman, a show on Animal Planet. In that show, a man named Ernie Brown, who is from the backwoods of Kentucky, removes "critters" from homes and businesses and humanely releases them back into the wild. Brian and I talked about this show and how both are kids were wondering if Louisville was the "backwoods of Kentucky". We chatted from around mile 16 to mile 20, when Brian said he wanted to run, since we had been walking. He started running and that's when I decided to start running again. Funny how things changed. Although I still felt my left quad, i didn't care, I had six miles left. Six miles, dah! Mentally I didn't think about the fact that I had just run 20 miles, all I knew was that I was six miles away from being an Ironman, so I ran. Looking at my watch, I was running anywhere from 8-9:30 per mile. I would run to the aid stations, grab chips, coke, and ice, and then go right back to running. Soon, I could hear the finish line...my journey was almost complete.
I turn left, I am smiling, excited, then out of nowhere I see Erin, she's waiting for me. She was yelling something at me, I think she asked me to slow down or stop so she could take a picture. I think I did because she took a picture. At the same time she also ran into a parking meter :) After seeing Erin, I turn right and there it was, the finish line! I was .2 miles away! I run into the chute and I'm smiling. I veer over to the right and am slapping everyones hand. I am about to cross the finish line and somebody else stuck out their hand and slap their hand with a "fuck yeah, i just did this" attitude. I cross and hear, "Ryan Glover....you are an Ironman!"
How you feel after completing an Ironman!
Two blocks away from the finish...still smiling :)
Two awesome things happened after I crossed the finish line. First was that I heard Kristin yell out my name. She was sitting at TGI Fridays (i think) and had both Ethan and Riley with her. This is the moment I thought about the entire race, this is the moment that I thought about when I signed up for the race. Seeing them after finishing was icing on the cake! I gave both of them a kiss and went on to take my finisher picture. The second awesome thing was that while I was running into the chute, Erin was making her way to the end and took this picture of me. The fact that she ran and made it thru the crowds to make it to the very end was a perfect end.
Outside of getting my ass kicked in the swim, I had a blast at Ironman Louisville. Since this was my first IM, I decided to chill and enjoy the experience. I have to thank everyone from my wife Erin, my kids, Kristin, my coach MJ Gasik,
the various peeps I trained with from Tim Cherney, Tim Peck, John Molchin, Jeff Shoemaker, Brian Comiskey, Kim Chaput, Pam Erickson, Lisa Simon, Claire Burke, Diane Cullen, Jim Quirk, the F'N Run Club, Urban Tri Gear, Mox Multisport, Mike Fortner, and everyone I missed!
And finally...I think i'm going to do another one in 2014. Ironman Arizona?
This has to be one of the strangest saddles I have ever seen, and I ride the ISM Adamo, which many thing is odd looking. The inventor states that this saddle is designed to use the same parts of your body that you use to sit normally at a desk, rather than your "bits".
To read more, bang the link
"Whoever does this distance is an idiot"
- Ryan Glover after the 2012 Racine 70.3
Funny how a year changes everything. And training helps too.
Originally, I wasn't going to signup for a 70.3, rather just focusing on IMKY, but with about a month or so to go, I chose to race the Ironman Muncie 70.3. People cringed! "Do you know what happened last year, it was so hot, they shrunk the course". Whatever, I signed up and would use this as a measuring stick for IMKY.
Gear for Muncie 70.3!
This year I was lucky to be able to travel with and split a hotel with a fellow team mate. As we ventured down to Muncie on Thursday night we stopped for dinner at Outback. Sticking with pre-race meal traditions, I had a Porterhouse!
We arrived at our hotel, Holiday Inn Express, and you immediately notice the Zipps, bike racks, and various bikes.
The next morning, we ate an average Express breakfast and venture on to the course, which was around 30 minutes away from the hotel. Upon arrival, we immediately take a peek at the Prarie Creek Reservoir. Many athletes had already jumped in for a swim and as I stepped into the drink, I said: "We're not wearing wetsuits tomorrow...". The water was very warm!
After the brief course review, Tim and I headed out to lunch with his buddy, who is from Muncie. He clued us into the b.s. politics that resulted in a course change on the bike. He said if you've never raced Muncie, you will not be that upset, but in the end, everyone was annoyed by the "rumble strip".
After lunch we head to the Expo for packet pickup, race briefing, and various other items. During the expo, the race director was asked about the "rough area" on the bike course, aka the "rumble strip". He was smooth in his answer, deflecting it by saying that this course was one of the better courses in the country. At the end of the race, you heard nothing but hatred for this section of the race.
I always bring something to remind me of the kids. Last year was Lightning McQueen, this year was Obi-Wan Kenobi!
My philosophy on the swim: chill! I was in the seventh wave, which went off at 7:27, a nice change from the previous year. I actually hung out in the washing machine for a while, drafting for a while until I finally made my way into my own little world on the left of the pack. Given that I breathe to the left, I often move to the outside and enjoy my free space in the water. Soon I am making the final turn back towards the shore and at that moment you can no longer sight anything as the sun was so bright! This wasn't all that bad as I just kept me head down and continue to swim until I reached the shore, making it into T1 in 41:47.
Out of transition you immediately thought, wow this is perfect cycling weather. I rolled out on Miss Ruby, packed with some SaltStick and three hours worth of custom Infinit. The plan, maintain about 80% FTP (216W) and drink every 15 minutes. I was riding at a consistent pace, staying in aero and sticking with my goals, then the weird/annoying section of the course came. First the 3/4 no-pass zone. Blah! Speed went from 20MPH or so to 8MPH. Luckily, my TorHans Aero30 was out of Infinit, which was perfect timing to refill from the bottles in the rear cages. After refilling, I hopped on the 8 mile out and back, which I will refer to as the "rumble strip". During this ride, it was difficult to stay in aero as you were bumping everywhere. I moved back and forth, trying to get comfortable. Before I knew it I was at turn around and was headed back. During this time I started seeing peeps from my team, saying hi and good luck and I continued back to transition. Luckily again, during the no pass zone, I had to re-fill, which I took advantage of during this 8 MPH journey. Soon I was back on the main course, averaging over 21 MPH and feeling good. I actually eased up for the final 1-2 miles, putting my bike into an easy gear and spinning, preparing my legs for the run to come. As I entered T2, I had a solid bike, coming in at 2:48!
Last year at Racine, I would not run. I was cramping like crazy and it was painful. This year was the total opposite. I was going at a steady pace, averaging in the upper 9 minute miles. I had a plan too for every aid station: ice, drink custom Infinit run formula, and dump water on my head. I also planned on eating a Honey Stinger waffle every hour, however I ditched those around mile 5 because they were annoying to hold on to! : Overall my plan failed at mile 6 when I ran out of Infinit. Not sure why, but I was drinking too much of it. When that happened, I changed over to Coke, which actually was a welcome addition. I continued on and felt great until mile 12, when I realized I was hungry and needed something to eat. I grabbed two cups of pretzels and was on my way to the finish line. Around mile 12.3 or so was a woman screaming at everyone to run, that the finish line was right over that hill, which it was! I sped up and ran thru the chute to complete the race in 5:50:50, with a run split of 2:10! Quite a difference from last years ridiculous race and finishing time of 7:40 whatever!
Overall I was very happy with my time. I know I could have pushed it more on the run and maybe broke 2:40 on the bike if I tried a bit harder. Next year, right? As long as that "rumble strip" is replaced ;)
Destroyed my old time from last year by, achem, almost 2 hours. Full race report to come after I get back from vacation.
The egg dish that was set out for breakfast today at work didn't look too appealing to me, so I opted for the banana, apple, and pistachio trio again.
We might as well just call this day a failure for Paleo Challenge. It was 'Merica's birthday, I had a long ride, and that's all she wrote!
Had a plan for this race: try to stay around 80% FTP and try not to draft...oh and finish the race as last year I ended up in a ditch on the side of the road because both of my legs locked up due to serious cramping. Losing all of your salt + 100F+ temps will do that to a person!
2013 Result: Pretty much nailed it! Ride was nice, weather was perfect. Average power was around 215W, average MPH was close to 21 MPH. I tried to not draft much, instead I was leading and pulling a few peeps along the way. The last couple miles I dropped my gears down and increased my cadence to prepare my legs for the post-ride run.
Nutrition was spot on: Three bottles of my Infinit Custom Bike blend and two Honey Stinger waffles. Actually had some grapes and trail mix at the one stop as well.
Overall felt awesome and had a good mile run after the ride, where my legs were still very fresh, running a 8:00 mile. We actually slowed down after hitting the 1/2 mile marker since we were running a tad under 7:00 pace, which wasn't the point of the run!
Day 2 Recap: Day 2 was much better than Day 1, seeing that I wasn't recovering from a "long night"
Starbucks Venti Americano - Black
Granny Smith Apple
"Hey let's go out to lunch at Twisted Spoke"
Fatty Burger, medium-rare
NOM NOM NOM
Salad with Balsamic
Run, 1200 m
10 Knees To Elbows
Run, 800 m
15 Knees To Elbows
Run, 400 m
20 Knees To Elbows
Run, 200 m
25 Knees To Elbows
Cash Out For time: 100 Sit-up (standard)s