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Archive: AUGUST 2008
Ironman Experience... broken down
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ladies & Gents, what a day!!

It was hot, humid, a bit windy during the bike and overall, a great day to do an Ironman.



The swim for Ironman Louisville takes place in the Ohio river and unlike other Ironman events, it is not a mass water start.  Basically there's a long line of people and everyone jumps in single file; the channel between the mainland and a small island that the swim is started in is narrow so the idea is that people won't get bunched up too much.

I took the swim out easy on purpose and didn't exert myself a whole lot throughout it as I wanted to get a good rhythm going to start what I knew was going to be a long day.  I got out of the water in 1:21:36 and felt great!



The Louisville bike course is definitely best described as "rolling".  On Sunday, aside from the rolling hills, the heat and wind made things challenging - with temp's getting into the 33 degree celsius range and feeling more like 38, the wind was more like a fan blowing heat off of a fire and onto everyone throughout the 180km (112 mile) bike course.  

I made a conscious decision to take it a bit easier on the first half of the bike course and try to pick things up in the second half; this worked out well and I felt strong throughout the entire ride averaging 28.92 km's /hr.  Total bike time:  6:13:54



The run course is relatively flat but the heat was once again relentless.  The wind we had on the bike was no where to be found as a sign of relief on the run; heat came from everywhere... my feet especially felt it on the black asphalt.

Every mile there was a marker telling you how far you've gone (on the run); I remember thinking to myself jokingly at the 1 mile mark... "hmm, only 25.2 miles to go!".  Total run time:  4:55:23


Overall:  It was not an easy day and I wouldn't have it any other way; crossing the finish line of an Ironman is an incredible feeling!!  I was 97 out of 260 in my age group and 585 out of 1975 athletes for a total time of 12:51:15.


For now, it's time to rest / heal up!!

- Graham - 

Here we go!!
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well, it's a little after 4am here in Louisville and for those of you who have seen the movie "What about Bob?"... I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.  I slept relatively OK last night and so far, the food is going down just fine.

That's it for now!

- Graham - 

The day before tomorrow...
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here we are... the eve of the big day.  I'm glad it's been hot the last couple of days because tomorrow is supposed to be another warm one...

Today consisted of a short swim in the Ohio river (warm water) and a short bike training wise.  It was also the mandatory bike and gear bag check-in.  Basically you have to bring your bike to the transition area along with 2 bags, one with your bike gear in it, the other with your run gear.  Got that done and had time to go for a nice pasta dinner... more carbs!

Oh, one more great thing happened today - "Ken Comb's running store" had the "Gu" gels I was looking for; this was a huge relief.

Alright, enough chat, time to get some sleep!  Will post another message before I leave the hotel room for a bit of a workout  =  )

Talk tomorrow!



P.S.  For tracking purposes, go here:  Use the "athlete tracker" and "live race coverage" links.  With the athlete tracker, either type in "Wilson" and find Graham Wilson or you can use my bib # which is 781. 

Going through the paces...
Friday, August 29, 2008

Today was another hot one, almost 40 degrees in the heat.  From a training standpoint, today is my day to do nothing.. a rest day if you will.  This is good as I had to get my bike into the tech's to get my wheels switched over; I rented race one's that have a bit of a deeper dish to them / are more aerodynamic.

Aside from visiting the Ironman expo again, I'm a bit nervous about my gel's situation - the only gel's I've been able to find down here are "Powerbar" gels and quite frankly, I don't like 'em... too sweet and way too thick.  I am on the search around Louisville for the "Gu" gels that I've trained with / raced with in the past.

Today we visited the "Conrad-Caldwell house" which is a HUGE old mansion in the St. James court area of Louisville - very historic area and wouldn't ya know it, across the street from Louisville's Central Park - designed by the same guy who designed Central Park in New York... no, Louisville's central park is not nearly as big.  This house cost ~$35,000.00 to build back in the late 1800's and featured water, gas, and electricity for heating as well as lighting - way ahead of it's time.  Oh, one other interesting point is that the original owner, Theophilus Conrad is the one responsible for the fleur-de-lis being Louisville's city symbol.  Another interesting point is that although Louisville is a french name, nobody down here pronounces it with the french "ring" to it... they call it "Low-ville".

Aside from getting my bike fixed, checking out some more sites, this was the evening for the athletes banquet... in short, the banquet was huge and very well put on!

That's it for now; cheers!

- Graham - 


... Checked In!!
Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's official folks, I am now checked in as an athlete for Sunday's race.   Today was the first day athletes could "check in" and visit the Ironman expo in downtown Louisville.  Picked up a few functional items I need for race day and few souvenirs with the "M Dot" symbol / official Ironman Louisville shwag.  Looking forward to tomorrows pre-race meal celebration; at Ironman events, these things are huge! 

Today was a hot one, it got up to 32 degrees and felt like 36... felt warm during the bike and run workouts I did today but nothing too bad - I think I'm pretty darn closed to being acclimatized.  In other news, the race wheels I'll be using came in today and will be going on the bike tomorrow - race wheels are pretty aerodynamic and significantly decrease drag... anything to get me to go faster!!

That's it for today - hope you're all doing great wherever this message may find you!




Another day closer!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A bit of a cooler day today... it only got into the high 20's!

Did some more touring today - the Farmington Plantation, "Fourth Street Live!", and definitely one of the best Cuban restaurants (Havana Rumba) I have ever been to!  Really enjoying everything Louisville has to offer!

Got out onto part of the Ironman bike course today as well; wow, the scenery of the lush, green, rolling hills and fields is incredible!  Looking forward to riding the entire thing on Sunday!  I will be checking in as an official athlete tomorrow; can't wait to get my race package! 

...More to come later!!

Baby it's warm outside (to the tune of that Christmas song by Dean & Doris)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The first full day in Louisville and it was a warm one - it was 30 or 31 but felt like 36 according to the people @ the Weather Network... I must say I believed them.  I did a 30 min. run and although it was not hard, I couldn't help but notice the humidity!

Louisville is one clean town; there are signs warning of $500 fines for littering - I think the people down here take those warning's seriously.  Service is another area they take seriously... the servers @ the eating establishments ask the question "Ya'll have everythang ya need?!" often and they mean it with a smile at all times.

Tourist wise, we checked out the Muhammad Ali centre today - nothing less than stellar by my vote; gave a great deal of information and was actually inspiring at the same time. 

Race wise, I'm 4 days away from the big race and am feeling great physically and mentally; the heat and rolling hills are going to make the bike course a challenge and although the run is a relatively flat one, the 26.2 miles in the heat will be, well, it'll be a challenge I will face with a proud Canadian smile.

That's it for today! 

Arrived in Louisville!
Monday, August 25, 2008

Up early this morning @ 2:00 a.m in order to leave / make it to the airport on time; the itinerary included flights to Denver, Chicago, and finally into Louisville!  The day was a long one but everything went well... no luggage was lost, the bike appears to have made it here in one piece and the hotel isn't too shabby either.

Checked out "Joe's Crab Shack" for dinner - if you ever find yourself in Louisville, you've gotta check this place out... great food & service!!

Off to get some sleep... more to come later! 



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