Those crazy ironman anxiety dreams...

The pre ironman race dreams have started! you know the ones where you show up on race morning without your bike?

Mine are pretty telling about what I'm currently preoccupied with...

The first one was about a week and a half ago... I showed up to the race start only to find that you had to crawl through a mile long plastic tube (like the kind at a McDonalds playground) to get to the race start. There was about 6 inches of water running through the tube as well. When I arrived at the race start, I found that I had forgotten all of my nutrition and the only way to get it was to crawl back through the tube and then back again with the nutrition!

The next one I had I was riding the bike and every time I picked up a bottle on the aid station I inexplicably dropped the water. I continued to ride getting more and more dehydrated and I imagined that I had that little "salt ring" around my mouth a la Lance Armstrong's famous TT hydration issue.

Frequently I show up without nutrition... once I showed up without anything to wear... I was in my pajamas...

The most recent was that instead of swimming in the river, we had to swim in ponds and run x-country between each pond. Halfway through the swim I glanced down at my watch and saw that it was 1:40 into the race! I thought to myself... "well, no pressure now".

So clearly, I have some anxiety about being prepared for the race.

I'm feeling pretty confident about knowing the bike course thanks to IM Lou Training Camp.
The swim I'm still worried about, but I figure there will be plenty of people to follow out there in the river.
The run seems pretty mellow in terms of the course (everyone says pancake flat), it's just the heat that gets ya - no shade.

I picked up my WTC Legal swim skin at all3sports last week. Check out my sweet new gear:
TYR Elite Torque Swimskin
Under the Torque for the swim and for the entire course I'll be wearing super comfy my Trakkers Tri kit from Canari. I've been wearing it for my long rides and runs and have determined where I need to add extra trislide to avoid chaffing :D It may seem silly, but I found a sport bra that I like and still works when it's soaking wet after the swim.

Bike and Wheels are working great. I'll be riding my Kestrel 4000 that I love love love with most likely Zipp Firecrest 808's. (They are new, not in photo below...)

I have my lucky all3sports visor with my own special motivating phrase written in Sharpie on the brim.

I also have my Nathan Sprint handheld, which normally I keep my First Endurance Liquid Shot in, but I'm thinking I may just fill with ICE at Louisville (Which mean I need to find another way to carry my LS, probably I'll just put it in my SPI belt with my saltstick)

I do still have some gear issues to sort out...

  1. I need new goggles
  2. I still don't have a great way to store all the "tire change" gear on my bike. My last couple of races, I've just been stowing a can of Espresso in my back pocket and hoping for the best.
  3. Hydration system - right now I use the standard AeroDrink bottle on the front. and I have three bottle cages, one on frame and two on back. The concern is grabbing watter bottles at aid stations and having them launch out of the rear cages because they are the disposable water bottles... Thinking about a speedfil system, but I'm not sure how easy that is to fill while you are riding (anyone have any comments on that?) and the other idea is the Profile Design Aqua Cell. I'm thinking since it is bigger, I'll be able to get more water safely stowed away quicker after the aid stations. That's a big decision for me right now as I feel hydration is going to be KEY in Louisville because of the heat.
  4. I'm also toying with the idea of arm coolers or shrug. I've hear lots of mixed reviews on them. I had a chance to try some and they seemed uncomfortable to me... but maybe a different brand would work better. Anyone have any advice in that area??
  5. Need to buy a new pair of CEP Compression socks, just because mine are wearing out... trying to decide between White and Trakkers Green :D A lot of folks have asked me why socks and not calf sleeves - I like the compression on my feet too AND I haven't had any blister issues with the CEP socks (knock on wood).
  6. I know I'll use my Garmin 310xt as my watch, but I still have to determine what fields I want to show while I'm in multisport mode. I'll have my powermeter (Quarq Cinqo) readings dislayed, but I haven't decided beyond that. What do you guys show during your race?
  7. all the other stuff I haven't thought about yet :D
I'm still working on this... Ive been doing a lot of experimentation the last couple of weeks. I started at 100 cals an hour and have been slowly adding things to the buffet and am now up to about 120 cals an hour. I've also changed the order that I eat in... putting more of the liquid cals at the front of the ride when the weather is cooler. I've added Larabar as a solid and Gu Chomps (Peach Tea they have 2x caffine and a lite flavor) as a mid range. Of course I still have First Endurance Liquid Shot and EFS Sports Drink.

The most important change I think has been to increase frequency of calorie intake (a little bit every 15 min) and also add more SaltStick (one every 30 min) and most importantly WAY MORE WATER. From one bottle an hour to 1.5 bottles (and I'm shooting for closer to two). In the beginning of the ride these extra non calorie liquids are NUUN. Towards the end of the ride it's just straight water (more to cleanse the palate than any other reason) so I add in some extra saltstick to make up for no longer having NUUN.

I don't have it nailed down yet, but I'm working on it. A big test will be the century ride and 6 mile run I have coming up this weekend.

So the planning and list making has started and hopefully that will help with the anxiety!

I'd love to hear anyone's comments on plans so far or advice on some of the gear decisions to be made!


  1. 1. I love the TYR Nest Pros.
    2. Hydration: I use an aero bottle with a 2 bottle x-lab in the back. Once my aero is empty, I fill it with one of the bottles in the back. At the aid station I dump the empty and grab a water. I've never had problems ejecting. There is also usually time to fill up the aero the rest of the way, douse your head with water, and then grab another full for the water cage.
    3. Just wondering why you are adding calories? I know you were doing the met stuff...I think it's a good call to go with more, but I'm just being nosy! :)
    4. I like the fuel belt gel flask you can clip onto your waist band.

  2. Thanks Kelly!! I've tried the Nest Pros, but they squeeze up so close to my eyes that my lashes get stuck and I can't blink well, weird right? But if I don't press them in, then they leak.

    I have same set up as you water bottle wise, maybe I'll just stick with it too...

    I'm adding calories because I'm concerned that at 100/hour I'm getting off the bike in too much cal deficit. my stomach has been fine but still not loving taking in calories on the run, so I'm trying to slowly add cals back in during bike to find that "happy place". Strangely enough though, adding more water and salt tabs on bike has enabled my stomach to handle more cals on run. Apparently my biggest enemy (as for everyone I suppose) is dehydration. I never thought of myself as dehydrated, but as I'm making a bigger effort to not only hydrate during my ride but before and after my endurance has REALLY improved. seems so simple right? :D Also, adding the bars and chomps seems to keep the "hunger pains" away a little better.

    and I'm totally going to look into the fuel belt clip thing!! sounds perfect!

  3. I recently (this year) switched to Nest Pros, but was using AquaSphere Kaymen JUNIOR/WOMENs before. Nest Pro has a junior version too. Just a suggestion.

    I'll tell ya, I run the 2-chamber aero bottle up front, and 3 cages. With water handup every 10 miles, you are good with that setup. In fact, I got ahead of the game and had water to spare back there. I run Gorilla cages in my Xlab setup and they held those retail bottles just fine. Carried my calories on the frame to reduce risk of launch-n-lose. I've played with the Speedfil setup and haven't found the perfect combination, mostly because I don't like my calories on the back.

    Are you running tubulars? If not, the Xlab bag works great to hold tubes and tools for flats. Fits nicely under the Xlab bottle setup.

    I've been playing a LOT with my nutrition and have a whole new plan going into CP. So, I'll keep my mouth shut on that topic - nothing functional to add except to ask if you are having any "level 2" issues. I had been using Nuun and found that the sorbitol in it made me have to 'go'.

    Can't wait to track you on race day!!!!

  4. Ohhh Jilly Jill it's almost GO time! I use the TYR Tracer goggle. I had an issue with the fit on the nest pros as well. I even wore the nest pros as Kona last year...couldn't really see much.... :) The tracer is much better for me, but they do wear out about every 100,000 meters.

    I always just go with 2 bottles on the bike. that's just me, I try to keep everything as simple as possible. I get through those two bottles in 2 hours then I pick up aid station stuff until I hit special needs where I get 2 fresh bottles. Then I go to perform when those run out. In Kona it was a bottle every 45 minutes for me due to the increased heat, but the same plan of attack.

    I lost all my nutrition on my first IM by dropping it all so I never completely rely on my one set thing, always try to keep a go with the flow, ommmm, attitude.

    You are going to rock, it sounds like you have enjoyed the process as well!! That's what matters.

  5. I've got, um, ZERO advice for you, but wanted to say good luck figuring it all out... the fourth discipline. I'm just realizing that I should probably spend a bit more time thinking/working my nutrition for CP HALF... I think I want to try working on the hydration thing you talked about. :) Might be behind myself.

  6. We love the nest pro goggles, everyone in the house wears them (eli wears the junior version) Anna is the only one not to wear them and it's for the same reason as you - it smushes her eyelashes! I'll check on her brand and let you know! My advice is to get both shaded and non-shaded. In general the sun gets strong on the river on a sunny day, Paul had overcast there one year so have the non-shaded just in case.
    My thoughts on the water is to get fresh bottles. (but then I guess you have to assume IM will have enough water) because it will be cold that way. Why not put your water in your aquacel and your nutrition in your rear bottle so that you know it will be good bottles and not rocket off the back. If it's 99 like it was for me one year you will want the fresh cool water!!

  7. I love my TYR Trace Ti goggles, but I have a weird fit when it comes to goggles.

    I have cadence, power, time and HR for the bike, and cadence, time, pace, and HR for the run. That's just to look at something; I listen to how I feel more than anything.

    And for hydration and the spare kit, check out the SpeedFil system instead of the Profile Design Aerodrink. I switch over and can't believe I ever used anything else. Check out the X-Lab wing too. I have one you can borrow actually bc I don't need the 2 extra cages. It has 2 cages, and i fit my spare kit in the bag fit and strapped in between the cages. Send me an email or call if you want it; I'll drop it by.

  8. Hi Jill!!!

    I'm actually using the Speedo Junior Vanquisher goggles. I have a really tiny head/face and the smaller goggles work great for me.

    As for the nutrition, I eat A LOT more calories than you do. I'm planning closer than 300 per hour in combination of sports drink and gels/chomps. And I also do salt tabs every 30 minutes. I'm If you're good with Nuun go with Nuun, but I'm with Rachelle, it has sorbitol in it which can make you bloat or give you the runs.

    As for your set up, I use pretty much the same as everyone else. I did, however, carry an empty water bottle last year that had an extra tube and CO2 inside it. Because I was getting sports drink/water at the aid stations on the course, I didn't need to keep all my bottle cages full (I have two on the frame and then a Xlab on the back).

    I've been treating every big workout this year as dress rehearsals in terms of clothing, nutrition, hydration, etc. Good luck in your long ride/run this weekend.

  9. Hi! I'm doing IMKY too. I usually have time, distance, pace/power, and average pace/power per lap (so every mile on the run) displayed. On a hilly course it's important to see instantaneous power (or last 3 seconds) because you need to keep that in check so you don't go too hard up the hills.

    I love the Tyr Trace googles, but I recently got a new pair of the Aquaspere Kayenne goggles. Way better in my opinion. Super comfy and really great optically.

    The important thing about your bottle selection is to make sure you have a plan if something gets lost. I use one bottle of water (I'm allergic to perform) and one bottle of a very condensed perpetuem. I get a new bottle of water at every aid station and will swap out for a new bottle of perpetuem at special needs. My hydration plan is to drink every 10 minutes and when I'm approaching an aid station down what ever is left. Grab a bottle, stow it, grab another bottle, drink some then pour the rest on me. If for some reason i lose a bottle of water, I will be ahead enough in my hydration that I can make it to the next aid station where I will drink a full bottle and put one on my bike.

    And yes, 100 calories an hour is definately gonna hurt you later. it's individual, but I eat 400/hour on the bike. I experimented a lot and finally went with the most I could stomach minus 25-50/hour. You're burning about 600/hour, so the more you can take in the better to give you a chance to start the run w/ the most in your tank.

  10. Great site very interesting read thank you…cheers Peter

  11. Hey Jill! Your dreams made me laugh... I've had so many similar to that and you just wake up thinking, "what the heck"?

    Sounds like you have totally thought out most of the logistics. What about the swim scares you? I only ask because I am totally not a swimmer (panic big time) and LOVED the IMLOU swim. I didn't get hit by anyone (only a tree stump) and felt like it was just point to point. :) Then again, I'm SUUUUUUPER slow so that might have helped!

    Liquid on IMLOU's course killed me last year. I put one bottle in special needs to have an extra and am glad that I did (you get to hit special needs twice if you need it), but I did water in my front and one bottle in the back of Perform (YUCK). The other bottle in the back was empty and held a tube/co2/levers/etc. That worked great until they ran out of water. Then I didn't have a plan B which was dumb. I know that won't happen again this year.

    As for everything else... such personal decisions! :) I love that you are thinking of carrying ice on the run course! SMART GIRL! :)

    I'm so excited for you and will be cheering you on the whole day. Best of luck these next few weeks!


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