Ironman Louisville - The Outhouse
First off, congrats to Erin Bougie, one of the testicless wonders on the Sunday Bike Ride with the Verrical Swimmer, who has helped kept my training honest this year, for getting married on Sunday. For those who aren't in the know, she met a NTPer earlier this season and by season's end, they're hitched. Man, she works fast. I saw her a few weeks ago .... no baby bump ... so you know the marriage is legit. She missed a few rides this season because she was helping her NTP husband .... uhmmm ... learn how to ride a bike.
Before we dwell into the Tuan Manifesto, a.k.a. my race report, I'd like to throw out some props to my domestique, John Wasky. For literally every Sunday this summer, he rode and trained with me for this race. When I became road kill at Ironman Vietnam Ultra, dude drove about 130 miles to pick me up by the side of the road and dropped me off at my car. Ironman training and its grind is mentally tough. To have someone there to suck on your wheels every Sunday is priceless ... just ask Kevin D'Amanda.
Every Sunday morning John would be by my side for those long rides. Every Sunday night, instead of rubbing his feet like all good wives should, his evil wife would give him a honey-do list that included outhouse cleanup duties. I've lost count at the number of times he's cried on my shoulder because of some of the things that his wife makes him do. I mean, come on, a trophy husband like that deserves a new Quintana Roo with a disc wheel, not the outhouse! She wants him to finish school first. I say, a pretty boy like that doesn't belong in a classroom. Would it kill you to rub the man's feet at least once ... before sending him out to the outhouse? Have some compassion, for heaven sake. I'm going to start a "Free John" campaign this off season.
Outhouse duties should belong to domestique #2 ... Richard Rappine. That son of a bitch would drop me on the bike then pats me on the back afterward and say, "good job, Tuan" Good job nothing ... you negative number of testicles son of a bitch!
This race report is part of my race report manifesto. For those who have not read any of my previous race reports, but are aware of the flavor that I put in my writings, please visit the entire series to understand why, as a kid, my parents insisted that I sleep on a mattress ... inside of an outhouse. I could have used a John Wasky back in those days. I hear he does good work around outhouses.
I don't write race reports. I write manifestos. My manifestos have born again Clarendon virgins, Cambodians, and cute little puppies .... that my people love to eat.
Chapter 1: Making Love to Buoys at the Luray Sprint
Chapter 2: Vietnamese Saigon Tango with a Naked Anna Kornakova at the IM Longhorn 70.3
Chapter 3: Plight of a Vertical Swimmer at the IM California 70.3
Chapter 4: Confessions of a Bike Pee-er at the IM Eagleman 70.3
Chapter 5: Ironman Florida - I Hear Voices (2009)
Chapter 6: Ironman Florida - Spirit of the Bricklayers (2010)
Chapter 7: Ironman Germany - What Happens When A Man's Nut Freezes?
Chapter 8: Marine Corps Marathon - The Orphans Shall Be Fed
Chapter 9: Challenge Copenhagen - The Nutcracker Does Europe
Chapter 10: Ironman Sweden - The Vietnamese Lesbian
Chapter 11: Ironman Chattanooga - OBGYN Coupons for Everyone
Chapter 12: Ironman Barcelona - Penicillin Cream
Chapter 13: Ironman Louisville - The Outhouse
Man, I should write a book or something, but the liberal media would take everything I say out of context. I mean, it's ok to say let's build a wall around Mexico, but you get crucified by the liberal media if you say stuff like, let's build a wall around Cambodia and throw in Laos as a bonus.
If this race report seems long to you then it's likely that you need to spend more time in an outhouse. If you need a companion in said outhouse .... I know a guy.
Who gives the shit. It's the Ironman. If you didn't drown during the swim, pee on yourself on the bike, or streak naked during the run because you were delusional ... it's a good day.
A. I didn't drown: 1:23 swim
B, I didn't pee on myself on the bike. Though, I did stop by the side of the road 3x to pee on myself. Sure, I could have pulled down the spandex, but this is the Ironman. 5:39 bike
C. I didn't streak naked during the run, but my boobs where on full display during 25 of the 26.2 miles (pictures below). 3:51 run
D. Final split: 11:09. Look it up ... there were 3 Nguyens at this race. I came in first. At the end of the day, that's all that matters.
RACE MORNING NUTRITION
Three hours before the race: Small bag of Doritos, 2 Honey Stingers, 1 gel, 1 salt tab, 1 granola bar, and a slice of leftover pizza. Washed it all down with a yogurt smoothie and Gatorade.
In case you are wondering, I've never tried those combinations before. I usually just grab a cookie or 2 before my long bike ride every Sunday. Nothing new on race day you say? ... that's for the weak.
Mamma Nguyen is coming to IMNC. Perhaps the pre-race meal will consist of Pho, eggrolls, and some Siracha. Who knows ... the world is our oyster.
Ironman Louisville has a time trail swim start format. You'd line up and jump into the water one by one. Think of a Disneyland ride. Now think of the same Disneyland ride with 3,000 people lining up one behind the another. That, right there, gives you a pretty good visual of how long the line was. Once you've reached the front of that line, there's no time to inhale, take in the moment, and be with one with your inner self. They just scream and push your ass into the water. You want to ask a question? They'd point to a buoy that you can direct your inquiry to. Below is a video of what the swim start looked like.
While standing in that long ass line in the morning, I meet whom I thought was the love of my life. She was a sexy little thing. It was magic from the first moment. Her name was Hamid Moinamin ... let's just say, baby got back. It didn't surprise me because I saw baby, the day before, downing a 4,000 calories lunch and then followed that up with a 5,000 calories dinner. Baby then said that baby was going back to the hotel for a 2,000 calories nightcap. Like I said, baby got some serious back. I don't normally like 'em big like that, but man, baby can move. Anyway, within minutes of catching baby's eyes, we were embracing in each other's arms on the ground (see picture below).
Things progressed quickly from there. We decided to take it to the next level by doning on some latex rubber as we walked toward the start. She's from Clarendon, so you know I had to rubber up from head to toe (see below picture).
As it turned out, it wasn't meant to be. Every 5 minutes, she would say, "Tuan, do you know what I'm doing right now?" My first thought was, "thinking of me?" Instead, that mother f-er would say, "I'm peeing in my wetsuit." Then, she would smile at me and point to the ground, as if there was a trust issue in our relationship. I can't have a relationship with someone who pees on herself like that.
EVERY 5 FREAKEN MINUTES!!!!
"Tuan, do you know what I'm doing right now?"
Sons of bitches.
The swim was 1/3 in a protected area where ships are docked and 2/3 in the main body of the Ohio River. The protected area was like a swimming pool, flat and no current. The main body of the Ohio River has some current, some years more than others. I'm not sure how this year measured up to the others. Judging by my swim splits, I'm confident that that river flowed upstream while I was in it. Below are two pictures of the main body of the Ohio.
My swim training this year has be abysmal. It's abysmal every year, but this year I took it to a new level not seen since the fall of Saigon. The goal was to not drown. I was going to line up all the way in the back and be one of the last swimmers to get in, but She-Ra Hamid convinced me to join him mid-pack. This meant that 50% of the field would eventually touch me, during the swim, in places that no Vietnamese should be touched.
Swimming in the protected area was quite pleasant, with very little contact. Once I swam past the island protecting the protected area, I was like, "oh my freaken god, did I make a wrong left turn and ended up in the Ocean!?" Once the I got to that area, the water was no longer swimming pool smooth. I could see the chops coming at me. They ALWAYS come at me, never at the Americans. I kept telling myself, "float like an eagle, Vietnamese #1. Float like an eagle!"
Well, unfortunately, eagles fly. They don't float and neither do Vietnamese people. I think it took me a day and a half to clear the island and hit the turnaround buoy. Shortly after, I hit a red buoy. Red buoys mean turn around/finish ... in every freaken race except Louisville. I thought that I was done after the first red buoy, but then there was another one and another one and another one and .... It's as if the CIA was trying to screw with Vietnamese people again.
Eventually, I made it to the real exit, not the Vietnamese auxiliary one. I looked down at my watch and it said 1:23. I was like, my sense of the timeline continuum is off. There was no way the Vertical swimmer can go 1:23 in an IM. The Vertical Swimmer couldn't last 50 minutes in the pool. All I have to say is, thank god for wetsuits.
Uneventful. I just kept my eyes down to avoid eye contact with all the naked butts in the changing tent ... because they were trying very hard to make eye contact with me.
7 minutes and change.
First 15-20 miles was crowded. I should have brought one of those horn/speaker system that would say "on your left" after you press a button. I will say that this was a pretty clean race. I didn't see any blatant drafting. Sure, people were engaging in kumbya group hugs while trying to roll up the hills, but by enlarge it was clean.
At around mile 30-ish I passed a guy. He then yelled, "Tuan!" I slowed down and he said, "I went to one of the Vertical Swimmer ride last year." I didn't know who he was. When you are as big as I am, it's hard to recognize all the little people. The only ass that I recognize is Kevin D'Amanda's. That minion and I exchange a few pleasantries and off I went.
My number one goal on the bike course was to find Hillary OE's ass and tap it. Oh, I really really wanted to tap her ass. She and I have a tradition at Ironman races. She tells me not to tap on her ass when I pass her. I tell her, "NO! No means no!" It's like a love/hate relationship. That woman must have been serious about not wanting me to tap her ass because he hid from me for the entire 112 miles. It's as if she had a Vietnamese-people radar on her that would alert her of my presence.
The bike elevation profile says 5,400 ft of climbing. I hate hills. My girlish figure doesn't dance up hills like normal people. You'd figure that, at 90 lbs, I would fly up hills. Well, my 90 lbs girlish figure is more about quality than quantity. It sees a hill and all it wants to do is pee. Louisville has reputation for hills. I was a bit apprehensive about it, so I just tried to take it easy for most of the ride. Perhaps I should have pushed harder, but eh .... butt chafe at high speed is no laughing matter.
After mile 85-ish, the bike course was empty. There were sections where I didn't see any racers in front of me. The faster people were way gone and the slower people way behind me. I was surprised at the emptiness since this race has more racers than most IMs. Those last ~25 miles were probably the loneliest stretch of any IMs that I've done. I would occasionally pass someone or some uber cyclist would blow by me, but it was pretty empty for the most part.
The one thing that did get to me was the wind. I didn't expect that. We did two lollipop loops of the course. I felt the headwind around that area was relentless. You can't pee on your bike when you have to worry about windy conditions. You just can't!
Bike = 5:39
Unlike T-1, T-2 had a lot of empty chairs, so I sat on one ... and pee on it like there was no tomorrow. That's the highlight right there.
7 minutes and change in T-2.
The scouting report from my domestique, John Wasky, was that the run course was dead flat. I even questioned him on this at lunch the day before. I said something along the line that I read somewhere that there was a bridge that we had to run by where there is some elevation change. His response ... "no, dead flat. You won't find a more flat course."
With that scouting report in hand, I left T-2 on a mission. First mile was at 7:39 pace. It's dead flat. I was going to kill this run course. Then, I saw a little incline and another one and another one and I was like, "that doesn't look like dead flat. John wouldn't lie to me like this. He just wouldn't!" Well, that son of a bitch did. And, to think, I let him fetch gels and Gatorade for me all summer. This is how he repays me ... with lies!? As my hero, Marion Barry, once said, "bitch set me up!" No wonder his lovely wife gives him honey-do lists with outhouse duties. Perhaps, she not as evil a wife as John paints her to be.I'm going to have to email her and give her some more ideas.
Thanks to that wonderful scouting report, if you look at my run splits, it went something like this through the first 5 timing matts: 7:39, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30. Every time that I peed on myself during that run, I was thinking about John.
Fortunately, during those pee sessions, I came across a very hot chick ... Nick Kaz. That Casanova had been telling every woman that he saw in Louisville, the entire week that we were there, that he was doing 2 Ironmans back-to-back. We'd sit in a restaurant and he'd tell the waitress that he was ordering 2 portions because he was doing 2 Ironmans back-to-back. He'd go into the bathroom, flush the urinal twice, and then tell the dude next to him that he was doing that because he was doing 2 Ironmans back-to-back.
When I saw him on the run course, he was walking. I told him to man up and start running. His response? ... "I'm doing 2 Ironmans back-to-back, so I have to walk twice every mile!" When he crossed the finish line, he asked the volunteers to give him two finisher's shirts because he was doing 2 Ironmans back-to-back. That's one high maintenance chick right there.
Somewhere along those "dead flat" out and back section of the run course, I finally saw Hillary OE. The first words that came out of her mouth, while pointing to her ass, was, "hey Tuan, you forgot to tap this on the bike." People! She said this, in public while in the bible belt, not Clarendon. What the hell was she thinking. Why does she hate Jesus!? Lightning could have wiped the both of us out right there and then.
It was then that I made it a mission to punish her for that mockery. I knew that, due to injuries, that she was planning to run/walk the entire marathon. My goal was loop her on the run course so that I could finally tap that ass ... just like she wanted. The goal was to do this quickly so that if lightning were to strike, it'd take her out and not me. Vietnamese people don't do too well when struck by lightning. Unfortunately. I was never able to loop her. Or, perhaps I did and her Vietnamese-people radar sent her to the port-a-john to hide. We will never know. My right hand was ready to go ... what could have been. What could have been.
At around mile 19, the shock of having to run a "dead flat" course finally left my system. I was ready to walk it in and burn John Wasky in effigy, but then something happened. While most of us were doing the trot of death, a young woman came flying by at a pretty good click. I was like, I am Vietnamese Royalty. I can't get chicked like that.
I chased her down and ran straight into a port-a-john to recover. She passed me while I was recovering in the men's room. I then chased her down again, but this time we exchanged words. She said, "oh there you are. You are 1 of a very few that have run past me today. I didn't think that I would see you again." From there, we started conversing with each other. I told her that I was tired and would hang onto her wheels for the last 7 miles. She responded by saying, "ok, let's do this!"
We were conversing and clicking at a pretty good rate until mile 23,when she slowed down pretty drastically. She then told me to go ahead. I told her that neither of us were going to Kona so I was going to stick with her and bring her to the finish line as a thank you for pulling me for the previous 4 miles. And with that, we came to the finish line together.
Those last 7 miles running with her were, by far, the best stretch of 7 miles that I've ever put in during any of my 8 IMs. We were the same caliber, fitness-wise, and just kept each other going. It was fun to run like that and have a motivating factor right next to you to push you along. She thanked me afterward for pulling her in. I thanked her for pushing me the way she did. Cool experiences like that is what I love about racing. At the end of the day, it's not about the medals. It's about the things that you experience along the way.
Below is the picture of that young lady and I after the race.
Run time: 3:51
The Ironman is like knitting or stamp collecting. If you don't get it, you don't get it. And, if you don't get it, it's probably best to step aside and let those who get it, go get theirs.
It's a beautiful thing, that finish line. It's on your mind in the morning as you are pumping your tires. It's on your mind when you line up for the swim. It's on your mind when you swim. It's on your mind when you're on the bike. On the run, you just want to cut the course short just to get there faster. When you eventually get there, you just want it to slow down, just to last a little longer. You wake up at the crack of dawn every day during the summer just to get to that moment.
Like I said, if you don't get it, you don't get it. And, if you don't get it, it's probably best to step aside and let those who get it, go get theirs.
Thanks for reading. I hope this race report makes zero sense to you. After all, it is what the Tuan Manifesto is all about. If you ever find yourself in an outhouse, please check out the other chapters of the Manifestos. If it's dirty ... I know a guy.
8x Ironman in the da house