Friday, August 29, 2014

Ironman Louisville Race Recap - Bike Leg

Did you miss the swim leg? Check it out, here!

After I started to run out of transition, I went under the "bike out" arch and started the bike leg on my watch. I realized, as I was doing it, that I wasn't running over any timing mats/lines so I started my watch a bit early on the bike. It didn't end up being a problem, luckily!

 Mike running out of the transition area

I got to the mount line, and struggled to get clipped in for a few seconds and then I was on my way! I knew that Mike was going to pass by me, since I had gotten out of transition ahead of him, and within the first mile he passed me and said, "I guess you were faster out of transition, huh?!" (This fact caused my family to miss me leaving transition because I was so speedy and they expected me after Mike, ha).

Mike and I knew that the first 10-15 miles of the course (and as a result, the last 10-15 miles) were flat. Since the rest of the course had some hills, some major and the rest rolling, I made sure to not go out too fast. I also focused on not drafting, because the officials were out in full force!

The bike on River Road had no issues, the temperature was still around 75-80 at that point, but we had cloud cover. Our friend, Beth, had told us before the race to break it up into small chunks. So I just focused on every 2.5 miles, when I definitely took in water/sports drink/nutrition. I was also drinking in between those miles as well.

The first major hill came around 15 miles. I kept playing tag with this one guy, he had one of those muscle/bones jerseys on, and I said to him, "I guess we're going to play tag". He laughed and said he guessed so. I felt good going up the hills but I knew I had to take it easy and tried not to tax my legs.

The Louisville bike course is an out and back, with another out and back that you do only once, and then two loops before you head back to transition.

I was banking on seeing Mike on the one time out and back, which had the worst downhills and uphills, and as I was heading "out", I saw him heading "back". I yelled to him and we waved at each other! I definitely took it easy on the downhills, I didn't want to crash especially with two way traffic, and at the top of one hill there was a spectator dressed as "death" and another dressed as a devil.

I am timid about making left-hand turnarounds so as I approached the turn, I unclipped my right foot and took it slowly. I guess I was going too slowly (but I made it without falling!) because I guy behind me was yelling, "turn! turn!". I didn't let that rattle me and continued on my way.

I saw Gabi as she was making her way "out" and I was making my way "back". I think she heard me but it registered after we were already by each other.

As I was going up one of the last major hills in this section (around 25 miles), I put my bike into the little ring and then boom! I couldn't move. I had dropped a chain (and it was a bit stuck). I unclipped and pulled over. Panic took over for a second (ok more than a few seconds) and I tried to fix it. I got chain grease all over me, and I couldn't figure out how to get it back in place.

Luckily, or not so luckily for him, another guy dropped a chain in the same place I did! I didn't want to stop anyone who didn't have to stop (though they kept asking if we were alright, as they kept going). But as he got going again, I said, "could you help me?" He was so nice and he stopped and fixed my chain! Right when he fixed mine another woman came down and said, "I dropped a chain too and I don't know what to do or how I didn't it!" I asked if she had put it in the little ring, which she said yes, and I said that was it. I took my bike, and the guy started to work on her bike. As I took off I said to him, "I will mention you in my blog!" I don't know his name or bib number but THANK YOU! You saved my race!

 Mike around mile 40

After that I just wanted out of the out and back section. I also didn't put my bike into the little ring until well into the first loop of the bike course (dumb or not, I didn't want to drop a chain again).

As I made the turn toward La Grange, I saw the guy I was playing tag with (as well as another woman I played tag with a lot). I said, "I haven't seen you in awhile!" After that, I didn't see him again.

I knew our supporters would be in La Grange at around 40 miles, so I just focused on getting to them. I had tossed one of my water bottles at an aid station at this point and I still felt really good.

When I got through one of the cheering sections near La Grange, I approached the rest of the cheering section. On the sidelines, my brother, Justin, and Hanna were sitting waiting for me. Luckily they saw me because I might not have noticed them! They cheered loudly for me and I continued on my way.

 Waving at my parents

I went through where the announcer was saying some people's names (he didn't say mine, but he did say Mike's when he went through). I was scanning looking for the rest of our people and then I saw my mom and dad! I told them I had dropped a chain but that I was good, and continued on my way.

I never saw Mike's parents and Rob during the first loop, so in true Jamie fashion I started to panic about Mike. I tried to not think about it and just focused on getting around the loop and back to our people.

The rolling hills weren't bad at all! We put in such good training that it wasn't even hard. I passed so many people on the uphills (yet they caught me on the downhills most of the time). One guy told me, "you are crushing this course!" I laughed when he said that.

When I turned down Ballard School Road the first time, I took it easier here because it was so narrow with some downhills and uphills. There was a bump that was marked and then a second bump and I heard "skiiiiiid" and my aero bottle had fallen off my bike! For one second I thought about stopping, but I just kept going. From then on I had to take two water bottles at the aid stations (one for drinking and one for pouring on myself to keep cool).

I only peed on the bike, yes ON the bike, 1.75 times. I wasn't concerned since I had peed twice during the swim.

As I approached the second loop, a guy next to me said, "isn't that the sweetest sight?!" I agreed but thought, going toward transition would be even sweeter! I had picked up the pace, especially because of stopping for 2-3 minutes due to the dropped chain, and I pushed the downhills and even the uphills a bit.

 Thumbs up for 70 miles done!

When I got to the special needs section, I skipped taking my bag and said goodbye to my CO2 cartridge and spare tube. I knew my brother and Hanna would be coming up soon (around mile 70) and when they saw me Hanna yelled, "easy peazy lemon squeezy!" That made me laugh.

Asking about Mike

When I got to my parents, Mike's parents were there this time! I said, "is Mike alright?!" and they told me he was and I said, "I didn't see you guys the first time!" Rob was up the road a bit and I also told him that he had made me nervous because I didn't see him the first loop.

During training miles 70-90 were always tough for me mentally, I was bracing for that during the race but it never happened! I just kept getting faster on the bike!

I went down the road again where I lost my aero bottle, and I saw it on the ground, and someone had crashed. An official was helping her out on the sidelines.

As I approached the loop turn, this time I got to keep going! I had been playing tag with a new guy but not for as long as the other people. When I went by the out and back, that we didn't have to go down this time, I told a woman passing me, "I'm glad we don't have to go down there again!"

There had been a few spectators in other spots on the course and I liked two signs in particular that I saw: "Crotch on fire" and "Smile if you aren't wearing underwear". I smiled.

As I approached 100 miles, a guy went by me and said something about how it was almost over. I said, "I'm ready to run a marathon". He said, "I'm ready to be off the bike!" (Side note: Mike helped a guy at mile 96 with some CO2, he gave him two cartridges, so our race day karma evened out).

The last 15 miles were downhill/flat and I tried to spin easy to get my legs ready to run. I took a gel with 10 miles to go so I wasn't taking in any solid food right before running.

As I made the final turn, I heard volunteers saying the dismount line was just up ahead. I dismounted, and walked my bike toward the volunteers who were ready to take it. After handing off my bike, I took my bike shoes off and ran into transition to get my bag.

This time a volunteer did help me, and I asked her to open an antibacterial wipe (so I could get the grease off of my hands) and started to put my stuff on. I put one shoe on and had to put my calf sleeve on over it! Then I got my other sleeve on, shoe on, and bib. I had my chews and I was ready to go.

I ran out, got more sunscreen on and started the jog toward the run out.

Only a marathon left to go!

Bike Leg (112 Miles) - Jamie: 6:55:48 (16.16mph), Mike: 6:12:22 (18.05mph)
Transition 2 - Jamie: 6:27, Mike: 8:39


  1. Haha! "Only" a marathon left! You're killing it girl!

  2. Wow, you are a rockstar! I still can't get over your first picture and the crazy number of bikes!

    ~ Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

  3. I remember wanting to get off my bike so badly myself! great job on the swim and the bike! I found you on Instagram today and saw your finishing pic by random! Saw the title and I thought, I know that blog! LOL

  4. You make 100 miles sound so easy! And thank goodness for the kind guy you helped you out- so generous of him. You're amazing!

  5. What a strong bike--both mentally and physically! If a dropped chain is the worst that happened out there, then that's a pretty good day. ;)

  6. great job on the bike section

    and FYI invest in a chain catcher.. best $30 I spent no need to worry about having the chain slip

  7. Awesome job on the bike!! I was very impressed with your transitions!!

  8. So nice of that guy to help you.
    And holy crud I cannot believe after all this that you still have a marathon to run.

  9. Woot Woot! You crushed the bike leg!! (Well you crushed all the legs....but I think bike is what had you most worried.) Oh man I love you!!! I feel like I'm cheering you on all over again.