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Survival in Louisville « Lisbeth Kristensen's Blog

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Survival in Louisville

Yesterday, I raced my worst enemy, the heat and the humidity and I got beaten, really badly… I raced or maybe the word participating is better, in IM Louisville. This was my 3rd time in Louisville. I really like it here and I’ve got the best home stay. When I was here back in 2008, I ended up in medical. The doctor who looked after me,
Kelli, is an obstetrician and since I’d given birth just 8 months prior to the race we had a lot to talk about. She said to me to come back and stay with her and her husband, Jeff, the following year if I decided to race again. In 2008, I raced here again and so did Kelli!!
This year, I wasn’t really going to race because I had Challenge Copenhagen on my schedule. But since I flattet twice up there and therefore couldn’t finish, I made a quick decision to come and race Louisville again. I contacted Kelli and Jeff and they were very happy to have me staying again which has been great. And this year, Jeff raced while Kelli was on the side line, being almost 8 months pregnant!!
It was hot, when I got to Louisville on Thursday and day by day, it just got hotter and hotter. I remember from the other years, that it could be pretty chili in the mornings and then it would warm up. But this time, it was already hot early morning.
At 6.50 on Sunday morning, all the pros were off. And yes, the water was very hot too, 85 degrees fahrenheit which is 29.4 degrees celsius, I almost took my speed suit off!!! I didn’t have my best swim start and missed the group that I would have liked to be in but then found another group to swim with. I found it a bit hard to accelerate because of the warm water. Out of the water and onto the bike. I felt good on the bike, the first part of the bike course is flat and I tried to go as hard as I could. I was making up time on most of the girls. After a couple of hours on the bike, the heat really started to get to me. I’m a true viking and not a hot weather person and the lack of acclimatization started to pay it’s toll on me, I felt as if I was in a sauna or rather a steam bath because it got pretty humid too, 90 %. I’d been hoping to ride faster in 2008 where I rode 5.02 but yesterday, I was 20 min slower!! I felt pretty terrible and didn’t feel like running at all…I got into T2, put on my running shoes and had a lot of water!! Then I decided to give it a go and started running, just really slowly, step by step. The run course is a 2 lap course and somehow, I mad it to the turning point of the first lap. On my way back, I stopped for a toilet and I had quite a long break at one of the aid stations because I couldn’t stop vomiting…Well, after this little episode, I kept going, walked through all the aid stations to make sure to get enough fluid and somehow, I made it to half way. A lot of the age groupers were now on the course, i wasn’t the only one who was having a tough time so that motivated me to keep going and just to get from aid station to aid station. Finally, I got to the finish line. I ran my slowest marathon ever despite my running shape being better than ever!!
My legs were miserable and I someone put me in a wheel chair and took me to Medical where I’ve got a few friends now from the following years!!! A good thing about being a pro is that you finish earlier than most so Medical is never busy when you get in there!!! So I got the best treatment. I was hypothermic and my blood pressure was very low for a long time. I had 3 ladies trying to warm me up, I was just shaking and couldn’t get warm- after I’d been boiling for 10 hours out on the course!!! After 3 hours in Medical, the doctor wanted me to go to the hospital but I convinced her that I was ok and they let me go. What a day…So may people ended up here and there was big line of people waiting outside to get treatment.
I guess that IM Louisville wasn’t the greatest pick of a race for me this year but it was hard to know that it would be this hot!!
I think that this might have been my slowest ironman ever, even slower than when I race here in 2008, 8 months after Astrid was born!!!
I’ve had a great time with Jeff and Kelli, congratulations to Jeff for finishing his first ever Ironman, hopefully Kelli will be back racing again next year!!

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