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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Plourd

Ironbaby Training Wheels Are Falling Off - Plus 10 Favorite Moments from the Second Trimester

This isn’t the everything-is-awesome post I’d intended. And in truth, I’m not sure what I’m seeking by publishing it other than to be honest and authentic in how I felt in training weeks 11-20 (and still feeling in week 26 now that the highs of Superfrog have worn off). I wrote this in week 20, the week leading up to Superfrog, late at night, with little sleep, and after a long workout that left me in a tired puddle of tears. To say I was a mess is an understatement. But as much as running has been my therapy, writing is too, and by the end, I felt much better.

It's not a boy. It's not a girl. It's a man! An Ironman!

At this point if someone were to ask me if they should do an Ironman, I’d have a lot of questions before offering an honest opinion. Do you have young kids? Would your inner circle describe this dream as awesome or crazy? Are you inspired, motivated, disciplined, and confident?

You don’t have to flip the paper upside down and add up a score to figure out if your answers suggest you’re ready for 140.6 miles.

And then there’s the why. Why do you want to be an Ironman? There’s no wrong answer, and no one can score this but you. Is it to prove that you’re strong? Is it to set a new goal because you’ve already checked off the marathon and Olympic triathlon? Is it peer pressure or FOMO?

Brandon and Brent at Ironman Arizona in 2016. Fear of Missing Out. A real epidemic.

I do have young kids, and this dream is stealing me away from them and my husband.

And I’m fairly confident a majority of my core support crew thinks I’m crazy.

But I was inspired by watching the final finishers at the 2016 Ironman Arizona. Limping to the finish line like they had scoliosis, but using their mental strength to find somewhere deep inside their beaten bodies to run once they heard Mike Reilly’s voice. I am motivated to not give up, disciplined to put in the effort, and confident I am capable of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Consecutively.

But my why isn’t holding my hand when everything else is failing me. I started doing this because my brothers did it. And that reason isn’t enough to counterbalance the sacrifices I’ve put on my body and those around me.

Another late night run while everyone else is sleeping. And I should be too.

At this point, I’m doing this because quitting now would be dramatically worse than going forward. Because I set out to do something, and I’m inspired and motivated and disciplined and confident, and quitting would shake every one of those.

So in the eleventh hour, it’s time to get a new why.

The new why isn’t going to be the image of me standing next to my brothers and friends that earned their medals too. It’s going to be my kids. I’m not a superhero and I’m not perfect, but I’d sure like my kids to think I am. So I’ll use the power of inspiration, motivation, discipline, and confidence to overcome a hurdle so big that at times it seems impossible. I’ll hear Crosley’s voice yelling “Mom! Go faster!” and picture her jumping on the trampoline with endless energy and an imagination without limits. I’ll see Blythe’s little hand reaching out for a high five and think about her liver, bursting with the glycogen that I’d give anything to tap into during the marathon.

I want to be who these little ladies look up to.

I chose to do this hard thing, but that’s not always the case. We don’t always get to choose the life events that teach us the limitations (or lack of limitations) of our minds and bodies. But when these tough times arise, I hope my kids will think about their Ironmama and know that they can get through anything.

Because we can do hard things!

But it hasn’t all been a mental dumpster dive. Here’s my 10 favorite moments from the second trimester, aka the Build Phase, aka weeks 11-20:

1. Sprints! The Build Phase finally allowed me to go fast, and it was liberating.

2. New Goodrs. Being a part of the Bike Goodr Flamboyance club has been awesome. And nothing beats getting home to a new pair of these awesome shades. I’m especially loving the “What In Carnation!?” sunnies from their Not Your Grandma’s Couch line.

3. Blythe’s Diagnosis. Just before Blythe turned two years old, we finally got her diagnosis. Glycogen Storage Disease; aka her liver is full of glycogen and she has limited ability to use it, which explains why she’s so sweet.

4. Outlander Binge Sesh. Long rides on the trainer are so boring. Especially late at night. But I started watching my favorite Gaelic couple through Instagram filters and now I’m thinking Catlander and Doglander could really become a thing.

5. Bachelorette Finale Float. Watching this ridiculous finale on a floating beanbag surrounded by friends is my new favorite thing. Possibly an annual party.

6. La Jolla Sea Caves. Call it cross training, call it family time, or call it that time we traumatized the kids and embedded a fear of the ocean. It’s really too bad Blythe got slammed by two waves trying to get in and out of the water because otherwise, kayaking to the Sea Caves was so peaceful and relaxing. Truly a memory I will recall till the day I die.

7. Grilled Peaches. What’s Cookin’ Wednesday (or Wthursday or Wfriday) is the highlight of my Autumn's Running Late weekly posts, and my favorite second trimester eats had to be the sweet and savory Honey-Glazed Grilled Peaches with candied walnuts and bleu cheese.

8. Slomo. We traveled a lot this last summer which meant I got to run in a lot of neat places. But as I’ve said many times before, nothing beats seeing a familiar face, and while I don’t know Slomo personally, it always feels like a celebrity siting when I see him cruising the boardwalk.

9. Wake-to-wake. I set a summer wakeboarding goal this year to make it all the way across the wake and finally did it on our last trip to the river! It was scary, and I had my fair share of some nasty looking falls, but it was so worth it!

10. Sharing Blythe’s Diagnosis. But the most touching day was the day we shared Blythe’s diagnosis with the world. We’re still learning about what our new normal looks like and some days are significantly harder than others, but the love and support we received from our community of family and friends has been astounding and my heart is full of love. Thank you to everyone asking how Blythe is doing, continuing to pray, and helping keep her hand out of the cookie jar.

Now let's get through this last trimester and be DONE!

P.S. If you want to relive the high of the first trimester, when I was still in a good mental place, you can find that here.

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