Philip’s Impressive Ironman PR

8 09 2009

In his sixth Ironman, Philip PR’d by over an hour!  Here’s how he did it:

Ironman Louisville ’09

At a bit of a loss as to what to write about this race and this season. My blog has a lot of the details as far as numbers go. And I have a lot of numbers from Louisville (pronounced ‘LuhVul’, as one syllable). But those don’t really tell the whole story.

The days leading up to the race were uneventful and went well. No real stresses. Being my 6th IM, and having a fair amount of confidence I was well prepared for this one, helped quite a bit.

Got to Lou Thursday evening. My buddy Wes was already there. Keri came in on Saturday with good friends of ours, Megan and Erik. The rest of the F4 folks were already there. Got settled in and relaxed. On Friday, did all the race check in stuff, blah, blah, blah, put on numbers, got weighed, etc etc

Let’s just jump to Race Day shall we 🙂

Swim :
In line a little before 6 and was a good 1/2 mile from the swim start down the line. Ugh. In the dark on the sidewalk, no facilities. IM really needs to address the logistics of this swim start. The line moved fast once the cannon went off and I was in the water ~ 7:30am.

The swim felt long, but really was uneventful. I did get a kick to the jumblies that hurt quite a bit, but did my best to shake it off and keep swimming. Actually, it was a real ouch. But what are you going to do, just keep swimming. My mind wanted to wander and I found myself dreaming of “fast finish times”. I’d catch this and give myself a mental slap on the wrist and remind myself to stay in my box, focus on what I can control.

Eventually, I made it to the steps. 1:11 something. No biggie, got up, took off to T1

Got through T1 as relaxed and quick as I could. Took some extra time to sunscreen and was off. One the way out, to the mount line, I heard my folks yell. I ran back a gave them hugs and kisses. They have always supported me with this crazy sport. They were there for my first IM, which was a tough day, and it was good to have them there for this one.

Started out easy and brought it down a notch. 🙂 Not a lot to say here. Just tried to keep things under control for the first few hours. The bike course was very pretty, lots of green, grass, trees, rolling farm land. Since I started so far back in the field there were lots of folks to pass. Aside from a few folks refusing to ride to the right (I don’t understand why this is so hard for some people to do), the traffic wasn’t that bad. I didn’t see much drafting going on either which is a nice change from the last few ironmans I’ve been at.

Things were going smooth until about mile 80. I noticed my stomach was a little upset and taking in more calories seem to make it worse. I was on the back side of the LaGrange loop and headed home at this point. I knew the course was pretty friendly here and originally had planned to pick up the effort here. But with this stomach thing going on, I went to plan ‘B’. Plan ‘B’ in this case was to shut it down and soft pedal home. I sipped water and rolled along as easy as I could. I hit my target power numbers going up the hills, but then let off the gas for the downs and flats. I kept telling myself that the race didn’t start until mile 18 of the marathon. I was hard to let my “fast finish” plan go, but the day is bigger than bike split.

The last 10 miles felt like they took forever, but eventually, I rolled into T2 with a bike PR and my stomach in decent shape. I was, however, super stiff. My neck and upper back were killing me from all that time in the aero bars. (Note for the future, this is an aerobar course for sure, the hills are plentiful, but fast).

T2: I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. I was moving very slow off the bike and walked to my transition bag. Into the tent for a costume change, med tent for ibuprofen for my sore neck, and a stop at the blue closet. 8 + minutes later it was time to get’r dun.

Wow….I really can’t believe how well this run turned out. Started stoopid slow per my plan. Took off out of T2 and heard Keri yelling, stopped for a hug and kiss. It was one of the highlights of the day actually. I’d been looking for her on the bike, so it was super to catch her there. Out on the run I went. Came through the first mile at 9, perfect….but off the bridge and through town I ended up running too fast. Five miles came along fast, 41 minutes. WAY too fast for this early in the run. I backed off a little and took some extra time in the aide stations for the next few miles. I was rolling past people very quickly. It was sort of fun to be “that guy”. Normally I’m the one running and getting pasted thinking “who was that guy running so quick”. At ten miles I was still feeling decent. At 13, I saw 1:50 on my run split and decided that sub 11 was going to happen. At 18, I saw Rich and Patrick from EN and they yelled “race starts here!”. I started my ‘road kill’ count and got to 283 people passed some where near mile 24. I lost track after that as the race finally got tough. I kept the pressure on, kept walking the aide stations, eating and drinking, and was able to hang on for the rest of the run. Proper and realistic pacing brought me to a 45 minute run PR.

Hard to explain what it feels like to finish an ironman. This one was specail to me as well. My folks were there. My girlfriend, who gave never ending support and kindness was there. I ran down the chute feeling like I was graduating. I am proud of this race and of my season. And being able to perform on the biggest race of the year was the perfect ending to the season.

General Thoughts:
*Keep it real. If you haven’t done it in training, you can’t do it race day.
There’s no such thing as ‘race day magic’
*The solution to most problems is ‘slow down’. Take a few minutes to fix a problem
when it appears, rather then waiting until the problem is out of hand
* Stoopid slow on the first hour of the bike and first hour of the run. Start off easy and then back it down!
*Patience. Let the race come to you. Don’t attack the hills on the bike, let them come to you, don’t push on the run, the run will get hard enough on it’s own. Patience
*Passing people is FUN 🙂
*This ironman was different in that, I decided when it was going to be tough. I made proactive decisions on pace and effort rather than reacting to fatigue and conditions.
*Another difference was that I had a very solid idea of what my race day paces could be. since my goals were realistic, I was making decisions on realistic data, rather than “swags” or “would be nice”s. In other words, I was truly in control of my ‘box’

Below are the numbers and such for reference purposes. so if you are a data geek, read on. 🙂

TOTAL TIME : 10:43:39
SWIM TIME : 1:11:57
SWIM 100M PACE: 1:52
T1 : 4:36
BIKE TIME : 5:38:05
BIKE PACE : 19.9
T2 : 8:42
RUN TIME : 3:40:18
RUN PACE : 8:25

The last Kona spot in my age group went 10:12, finishing 12th in the AG.

If I ever want to go to Kona, I need to get faster on the bike.

Power numbers and pictures to follow shortly.

Kia Kaha

For future reference: Power Tap numbers for IM Louisville 2009

Note. I think my IF numbers (% of FTP) are high as I was using a test from the beginning of the summer. Not sure why I didn’t test more during the Ironman build. Fear I suppose. I’ll be better about this aspect of training next year)

0 to 56 miles
Time: 2:48
TSS : 161
IF : 75.9%
Pnorm : 169 watts
VI : 1.08
Pavg: 156 watts
Cad: 93rpm
Spd: 20.0

56 to 112
Time: 2:48
TSS: 137
IF: 69.9%
Pnorm: 156 watts
VI: 1.1
Pavg: 142 watts
Cad: 92 rpm
Spd: 20 mph

Time: 5:37
TSS: 300
IF: 73.1%
Pnorm: 163 watts
VI: 1.09
Pavg: 149 watts
Cad: 92 rpm
Spd: 20 mph

This tells more of the real story….rode too hot for the first 80. Not eating enough…figured this out later than I should have. The course was faster from here on in to the finish though. This was plan ‘B’. I figured if I got in trouble, just make it to ~85, then soft pedal in, fixing whatever problem I was dealing with. It worked out ok.

First 82 miles
IF: 75.6%
VI: 1.08
Pnorm: 169 watts
Pavg: 156 watts

last miles 30
(Shut it down here. Focused on getting home in good shape. Worked the hills, coasted as much as I could, just rode the avg speed, anything over 22mph and I let up)
IF: 63.9%
VI: 1.11 (worked up the hills, but then coasted as much as I could. used the down time sip water and take in a few additional calories)
Pnorm: 142 watts
Pavg: 129 watts




3 responses

8 09 2009
Steve van Schouwen

Awesome race Philip,
You looked like you were doing a 5K out there on the run.

9 09 2009
Pam Landry

Amazing accomplishment, Philip……And your “General Thoughts” are so true and beneficial to hear…..Congratulations on years of hard work and commitment to your goals………Best, Pam

22 09 2009
Donna MItchell

Incredible!!! That is all I can say!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: