IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Monday, August 28, 2006

Accenture

It is with mixed emotions that I'm writing this. I just completed my last triathlon of the season yesterday. And I did, in my opinion, very poorly. So on the one hand, I'm glad the season is over because it hasn't been a good one for me. But in the same breath, I feel like I need another race to "redeem" myself.

The problem with Accenture is that there are like a million people racing (OK, 8000). And while transition opens at 4:30am and closes at 5:45am, I didn't start until after 9am. So I had the opportunity to watch many of my friends start AND finish the race before I even had to line up.

I had a very strong swim. I felt great and turned in a very nice time. Accenture is always difficult to get around all the many people in front of you in the water. But things went smoothly and I didn't really have to fight anyone. I struggled to get my wetsuit off and almost slipped off the cement and back into the water. I was pretty out of breath, so I couldn't even respond to my friends cheering me on at that point.



Then...the worst part for me is that you have to run what feels like a mile to transition...with NO SHOES on! I thought I was doing OK as I passed several men ahead of me who were slowly jogging to T1. I was set up all the way at the end of transition, near the bike exit, quickly put my shoes, helmet and sunglasses on and made my way onto the bike course.

The wind coming out of the north was brutal and I couldn't believe how chilly I was. The sky was overcast, but at least it had stopped raining. I tried really hard to stay as aero as possible and passed many people wearing shirts that the wind was puffing up to make them look like they had parachutes on their backs! There were so many obstacles to avoid on Lake Shore Drive. Pot holes, newbies riding on the wrong side, bike gloves, expansion joints where the overpasses are, hundreds of water bottles that had accidentally been launched from hitting something in the road, and the most unusual item I saw on the course was someone's aerobars!

I almost ran over some woman who crashed just about 4-5 bike lengths ahead of me. I don't know why she went down, but it was sudden and the "thump" sound it made, along with the scraping of the bike frame as it slid across the road was enough to make me clench my teeth, slam on the brakes and remind myself to stay focused. I yelled to one of the officials on a motorcycle that there was a biker down. It wasn't long after that I heard the ambulance sirens.

The turnaround is painstakingly slow as you have to wait for many people to get through before you. So many of them are new, you don't dare ride too close because they will for sure take you out. The tailwind on the southbound section of the course was nice and I thought I was doing well. Here we go into the second turnaround, and here is some idiot, almost riding perpendicular to the oncoming bike traffic, who realized he was supposed to join us in the second loop, at the last minute, trying to make it into the right chute. Yes, sir, we should all slow down for you because you couldn't pay attention to the signs when they told you what side of the street you should be on! GRRRR!

Going northbound again was tougher than I expected. I passed the time by watching the 40 year old parachute in front of me block many of the fast men that were now coming by like crazy. They were riding pretty aggressively, and in my opinion, pretty dangerously. There are too many inexperienced triathletes at a race like this for them to be whizzing by people at such speeds.

Tne end of the bike couldn't come fast enough for me and I chatted a bit with some woman who kept passing me and vice versa. She was fun to ride with and I asked if we could ride together in the future...she goes out to Barrington a lot, so I'm guessing I won't be riding with her any time soon.

After what I felt to be a very quick T2, I was off on the run. I felt great and my first split confirmed that. The temperature was very comfortable for a run and I was feeling pretty strong. I looked for other racers that I knew, but didn't see anyone I knew until just before mile 4...and just before the turnaround. I made it a point to "reel him in" and my breathing became pretty labored. I thought to myself, I should slow down a little, I still have 2 miles to go, but I was negative splitting this run and for a second, I thought I was on pace to PR this race. The next time I looked at my watch, I was dumbfounded when I realized I read it wrong and there was no way I was going to PR. My bike time was much too slow. But I just wanted to focus on this run and make it the best I could. There wasn't much I could do as women in my wave ran past me effortlessly, without even breathing hard. I was giving it every bit I had and as I came in to the finish line, I realized this was going to be my last race of the season. NO! I don't want the season to end like this! Or....wait, do I? Don't I want this season to just be over so I can come back next year and be stronger than ever?

Bittersweet, I tell you. I'm not really sure what went wrong for me this year. But, I suppose the more experience I have, the more I'll learn about what works for me and what doesn't. For now, I'm ready to put triathlons behind me for a few months...maybe more.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

SPRINT

bconway said...

Sprint races are a lot of fun, but
I can't bring myself to pay more than $1.00 for every minute that I expect the race to take me to finish. IM is by far the best value in multisport.

RunBubbaRun said...

Underground racing. People just meet and get together and race. The new thing. Entry fee $0.

Great job on the year.

Anonymous said...

grrrrr bernie

MJ said...

Hey anonymous, can't figure out how to log in?

Anonymous said...

i did once and it won't let me back in
besides you know who it is