IM Louisville 2011 Race Report - the Bike

Transition 1

I ran into transition and ran for my bag.  There was a volunteer there handing it to me, great volunteer support out there!!  I headed into the ladies change tent and found a seat.  There were about 10 ladies in there with me I suspect. I dumped my stuff onto the ground and easily found everything I needed.  I had decided to run with my shoes in hand because the ground was pretty smushy and I didn't want to end up with grass and dirt in my cleats.  I thought I had a super fast transition but Ironman Live results say 4:30.


As I headed out on my bike I saw my coach cheering her head off and yelling "great swim Jill!!" which was a very cool way to start my ride.  I felt awesome heading out on the bike.  I knew this course so well from riding it at camp and all of my little "milestones" in my head were ticking by.  I also had Laura's words from earlier in the week echoing in my head "if you have a great swim, that's great, but that doesn't mean go flying off on the bike"  So I checked myself, made sure my HR was coming down after the swim and that my watts were at their "first 30 miles of the bike course" level.    The first water station is at mile 6, which seemed early, but they'd warned us at the Athlete meeting that they next aid station wasn't until mile 22, so I picked up some water without incident here.  I was sipping on my aero brink with Strawberry Lemonade NUUN.  It was doing it's job to settle my stomach from the swim.  I also took in some salt tab as soon as I started the bike and kept taking one every 30 min.  I also took in extra anytime my stomach felt upset.

As I turned onto the out and back section, I felt myself get blow a little to the left.   Ahh, so there had been a tailwind on the way out.  That makes sense :D  I love the out and back section of this course.  It's pretty turny and the downhills are so much fun and frankly that early on in the race the uphills felt like nothing.  I was pretty focused on my watts on the uphill sections to make sure I wasn't blowing my legs out too early.

I saw some of my Dynamo friends on this section and they looked great!!  One of my favorite parts of doing Louisville was seeing so many people I knew out on the course.

Before I knew it, I was taking the turn onto the first loop.  Time to REALLY watch my effort levels.  I was letting the big guys pass me and just sticking to my plan.  Eating and drinking right on schedule.  I only drop one water bottle at an aid station, but was able to easily pick up another at the end of the station.

Riding through LaGrange was a good pick me up.  There was an unexpected headwind into town, so when you go in town and heard all the cheering it was a nice break from thinking about the wind and just soak in the experience.  I think I had a huge grin on my face every time I rode through LaGrange.  There must have been a Dynamo cheering crew out there because I heard "Go Jill Poon" while I was out there.

For the most part I thoroughly enjoyed this course.  I did see some blatant drafting by two ladies which was frustrating, but I chose to see it instead as proof of how well I was riding. I kept them in my sight for about 30 miles and then I started catching up to them and eventually passed and left them behind me.  I also traded off and on with a REALLY nice guy, Parnell, he was awesome and seemed super strong on the bike.  Both of us were very respectful of each other and the draft zone and it made for some nice company out there.  I lost track of him around mile 90 and would love to know how his race ended up.  Of course you always have the guys that you pass and they pass your right back without ever exiting the draft zone and then park their butts right in front of you at their original pace.  It's frustrating, but that's part of racing.

My second loop was stronger (according to watts) then my second which was the plan. I was starting to fade a little so I started adding more calories to my 15 min feedings :D (I ate a little something every 15 min).  I was encouraged by how great I felt and then I found myself taking the turn at Sligo and realized I only had about 30 miles to go and it was net down hill.  This was the point in my race plan where I was supposed to just go for it.  Remember that tailwind from the beginning of the day? Well, now were riding right into the headwind.  I adjusted my time goals to account for the headwind, reminding myself that everyone was dealing with the same headwind and also that it doesn't matter how fast you bike if you dont have any legs for the run!

I find my power data to be frustrating in a headwind, so I kept an eye on my HR, but really I went for it and found myself passing people right and left.  AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!

Also at this point my stomach started to feel a bit queasy, so I added in more salt and stepped back on the calories a little bit.  I also did more climbing out of the saddle on the way home, to help go faster, but also to change up my muscles a little bit.

So here I come screaming into Louisville, I avg'd around 20.9 mph on those final 20 or so miles. Into a headwind, I was feeling proud.

I made the final turn into the transition area, and rode to the dismount line.

Next up RUN TIME!

Bike Time: 5:50 (Goal time 5:45)


  1. very solid bike - although if you biked a 2:50 i would bow down to you even more ;) youre really smart of keeping a close eye on your digestive needs. way to pass those girls drafting!!!

  2. Thank for catching that Kim :D I updated the times :D :D Yeah 2:50 would have made for a great day ha ha

  3. 5:50 is amazing :) i wish i could bike a 5:50 bike split! oh i cant wait to hear about the run! go go go!

  4. Dave and I were also screaming "Go Jill Poon" in LaGrange! We had set ourselves up on the bleachers for the day.

  5. it is such a fun course to ride because it has a little of everything, and it goes by quickly breaking it into "parts witht he LaGrange loop. You rode SMART!! IM key :)

  6. Love it, love it, love it and can't wait to read the rest. I am getting so excited reading your report that I can guarantee you I will come back to read it again next year when training gets hard :)

  7. I'm not a hill lover, but there is something about the IMLOU bike course that I love. We've talked about it... it just keeps you honest! :) Great bike!!!


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