Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

On Saturday, Kelly and I rode 100 miles on our bicycles along the 2008 Louisville IronMan route. I had originally only intended to do 80, which Kelly amended to 87. And if I’m going to be spending 6 hours on a bike saddle then I might as well make it worthwhile and go 100, right?

New, previously unexplored thresholds of pain and exhaustion were met and exceeded. That was the longest time I had ever been on a bike or constantly moving in my entire life. According to MapMyRun, a man for my height/weight/age running at a 16 MPH pace for 100 miles would burn in excess of 5000 calories. 5000!  That’s 9 Big Macs or nearly 32 cans of soda. I ate 3 PowerBars, 3 Gu Roctane packets, one bottle of Ale-8-One and one 12oz can of Coca-Cola. This adds up to a calorie deficit of somewhere between 3000-4000 calories. Insane!

The course we followed was essentially the IronMan course that Kelly will be riding for some 7-8 hours at the end of August. It was extremely hilly for the first 50 miles, with a combination of steep climbs, screaming downhills and a heinous grade on KY-393 that just goes on and on and on.  The last 30 miles back to Louisville along US42 is rolling, but generally downhill.  As I predicted to Kelly the week prior “I will be able to keep up with you up until mile 50 or 60, and then please just don’t leave me out on the course”. I hit 60 miles on the nose and was just wiped. All climbs were painful and punctuated with my muttering a single, choice curse word at the top of each hill. Recovering on the downhill only to repeat multiple times.

You can check out the course on MapMyRun’s nifty course widget:

There was a group of maybe two dozen out-of-state IronMan trainees there to ride the course on Saturday, and we had a number of pleasant chats here and there. We stopped at the mini-marts along the course and made sure to spend a little dough at each store on water and such. We didn’t have many problems with the auto traffic, but we did have an SUV full of kids throw a beer at us while on the return trip down US42. Seriously, license plate KY 163-GDV?

Along that save vein, Todd Heady over at has written a thought-provoking article on “Cycling Problems“. Timely as he talks about road-closures, the people who live and work and own businesses along road courses and the relationship between them and those who bike on the courses. Todd’s a certifiably insane athlete, but when it comes to organizing races or giving his opinion on tough matters he’s pretty darn reasonable.

And then, the next day….

2008 AMA/LSF Soaring Nationals Handlaunch

I awoke at 5:00am to drive back up to beautiful Muncie, IN for the 2008 AMA/LSF Soaring Nationals to compete in the handlaunch competition!  Much to my surprise I was ambulatory and did pretty well at the competition until the last two rounds, as is my custom at the NATS.  I placed 6th out of 22 and returned home with a plaque (“getting wood” as it’s known in the hobby).  You can read up on my exploits here in the AMA’s NATSNews coverage for July 28th.

You might remember that I covered the 2007 Soaring NATS last year, writing the NATSNews coverage each day. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it this year partially because of our Fall ’07 trip to Barcelona, but also because I wanted to be around to help Kelly train for her IronMan race.

Did I mention that I’ve got the 2008 E. P. Tom Sawyer Triathlon coming up this Saturday? Yeah, ’cause I do. Oh, and Power Creative has a softball game on Sunday versus the delightfully-named Got Balls? softball team.

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Jul 29 2008 ~ 2:25 pm ~ Comments Off ~


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