Ironman Louisville Race Report: Get After It
I have now worked with my coach, Marilyn McDonald (@chychota) a little over a year. Louisville was our third Ironman together. When I looked at TrainingPeaks for her notes on my race execution in Louisville, I found one phrase; Get After It. Perfect. It was time to go get my race.
This year I had the following goals:
- Win a race overall (completed at Caymans 70.3 AND Gator Half)
- Break 11 hours in an IM
- Win my age group in an IM
- Qualify for Kona again.
Louisville was my final shot to knock out goals 2,3 and 4. The only problem was my calf strain (more in my last entry here). My running was limited and everything was focused on getting my leg operational for the race. I committed to ART (via Dr. Mandy Smith) three times per week and exercises every day for my posterior chain. It was nerve wracking. I just kept telling myself that “all would be known in due time.”
I consider Louisville to be my “hometown” race (see my course preview here via www.endurancecorner.com). We live only two hours from the site, I have raced it before and trained on the course a handful of times. I really like the swim, tolerate the bike and enjoy the run. It is always hot, humid and unpleasant making it just a touch more difficult than your typical IM.
- 16 minutes ahead of second.
- 21st place of all age group women.
- 11th fastest of all age group women.
- IM PR in the swim
I have plenty of IM race reports for you to read on this site. In terms of execution, the only thing I did differently was race. I wrote the phrase “Get After It” on my wrist band and proceeded to do that the whole day with a special emphasis on the last 30% of each swim/bike/run segment.
I was very happy to come out of the water in 8th place. On the bike I passed one woman in my age group. Another woman in my age group attempted to pass me. Getting after it did not include being passed. I went after her and kept the lead until the end of the bike.
I started the run very conservatively to find out if my calf was operational. It felt a bit crampy but did not cramp. The last 10k of the marathon was nerve wracking as I could tell my calf wanted to call it a day. I noticed the cramping feeling was much more intense when I started back up after my aid station walk breaks. I decided no more walk breaks to protect it.
At one point, my team was unsure about my lead and told me to push. For the first time ever in a race, I looked at them and said I couldn’t. They told me afterwards they were shocked but realized it was mechanical. My will and my aerobic system were ready to run but I didn’t want to cause a cramp DNF at mile 23! A great reminder if you are chasing the lead to never give up in a race. Sometimes the leader will go down in the last few miles.
The hard part with the time trial start is that you don’t know if you can shut it down. You do know someone, somewhere on the course is chasing you. You just have to keep pushing until the end.
Big thanks for my team led by KT. They were phenomenal. I received feedback at every point in the race where I was on the leaderboard. They had researched my competition and knew their were some tough women hunting for Kona slots. They never let me forget why I was there and what I needed to do to make my dreams a reality. KT, David and Bob have been a huge part of my journey and have believed every step of the way that all of this was possible.
After the race, KT suggested I look up the Ironman Age Group Rankings to see how I finished the year. I did, expecting to be somewhere in the bottom of the top 20. We shockingly discovered that I finished the regular season ranked #1 in my age group in the world.
This journey would have not been possible without Coach Marilyn McDonald (@chychota). She has pushed me every step of the way to have bigger goals, to believe it was possible and finally to make it happen. I am thankful she is a part of my journey.
My teammates and fellow coaches at Endurance Corner have been incredible. They push me at camp, offer advice throughout the season and cheerlead along the way. I feel privileged to be a part of such a group of great athletic thinkers and athletes.
My coworkers and especially my fearless leader Dawn, enable me to have the time and effort to race on a national and international stage. They all have my heart felt thanks. They do continue to haze me (this time with a Hawaiian themed welcome back reception) and make me laugh at every turn.
The afterglow is done. I recognize that I am only as good as my next race. Vegas Baby.
I have a few team slots available for athletes for the 2013-2014 season. The best part? My coaching includes a free membership at Endurance Corner with access to our forum and incredible resources. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!