Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Comparison: Plan vs Reality

Ironman Louisville is over and yes, I can scream it to the rooftops. I am an Ironman. Race report to come soon, but it will be a long one. Instead I thought I'd do a quick comparison to what I thought I should be able to do compare to what really happened on that day.

SWIM: According to my plan, my 2.4 mile swim should have taken approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Instead, according to Garmin, my 2.64 mile swim (yes, I am challenged), took 1:42:07.

3 minutes ahead of the game.

Transition 1:  According to plan, a 15 minute T1 was reasonable. I wanted to feel relaxed and not make mistakes. On IMLOU race day, my T1 was 14:48. Right on target.

Still...3 minutes ahead of the game.

BIKE: Based on previous experience, I knew I could do 15.5 mph, but in order to be conservative I decided a safe speed would be 15 mph, add in 20 minutes for potty breaks & family hugs, I thought I'd be done in 7 hours 48 minutes. In reality? I averaged 15.33 mph for a total time of 7:18:25.

Break out the happy dance!!! Now 33 minutes ahead of the game.

Transition 2: I knew I was going to take a long 2nd transition. I had to test my blood sugar. Again, I wanted to feel relaxed and not crazy. Calm was the order for the day. I planned for 20 minutes in T2. My IMLOU T2 time was 27:49, but it was the best transition ever. More on that to come. I know it's hard to see, but this filmstrip is a series of shots by my niece, Tiffany, of Cheryl & I leaving T2. As you can tell from my animated expressions, I was having a great day, the time of my life.

Lost some ground, only 26 minutes ahead of the game.

Run: Based on breaking down the 3 different paces I had planned for the marathon, I wanted to complete the run portion in 5 hours and 11 minutes. Instead, I ran it in 5:26:47. 15 minutes slower than I wanted, but here is the key. I never hit the wall. I felt incredible. Because I feared hitting the wall, I allowed myself to relax my pace a little. Now in the end, it definitely cost me.

If I had stayed with my planned paces, I could have broken into the 14 hour mark. UGH!!!! Crap!!!! Yes, it bugs me. My one regret for the day, but holy hell. I really don't think I would change a thing. Words cannot describe the way I felt all day long. I smiled the entire day. I loved seeing all of the T3 athletes on the course. All of my hopes and dreams for race day were fulfilled.

Carla Leber, You are an Ironman!
In the end, I estimated I could complete IMLOU in 15 hours 26 minutes. In reality, I had the absolute best day of my life. I smiled all day long. I never hated my bike. I never hit the wall in the marathon. I did not feel an ounce of pain until I stopped running. I completed 140.6 miles at Ironman Louisville in 15:09:56.

Yes, I am an Ironman. 

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