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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Plourd

Ironbaby: The final stretch + 10 favorite moments from the third trimester

I’m very nervous about this race. So nervous I can’t sleep and I’m sick to my stomach. Squeezing 30 weeks of pressure into potentially 13 hours is making me nauseous. I’m going to try my best to have fun, and no matter how this day ends, I’m going to feel relieved. The question is, what emotions will couple that relief? Two days until I enter the water. But first, a recap of the last 10 weeks of training. Peak training.

Peak training was a BEAST and I don’t want to get into how awful it’s been because I’ve written about it before and right now I need to stay positive. Just know I hit some real lows.

And I now understand that the level of tiredness I was feeling was by design. Peak training intends to get you ready for the fatigue of race day without actually doing the ridiculous race day distances. It’s even got a fancy name, Cumulative Fatigue. It means you stack tough work outs with little rest in between, constantly building fatigue to simulate the tiredness of race day.

Except I get the added challenge of raising two little crazy active girls! Plus an inability to say no to parties and projects and staying up until 1am to do things like make Crosley’s dream Arial birthday cake.

Crosley was in heaven! All her primos and closest friends there to eat what she's now decided is her favorite cake. "Mom, from now on I only want lemom cake ok? Because I loved it!"

Regardless. I’ve put in the time. I’ve put in the effort. Now I just have to trust the training and show up. And swing my arms around while kicking. And pedal in a hunched over position. And then run (or walk or crawl). I can’t wait to check this box with a big permanent marker!

For all you race day spectators out there, here’s the plan:

Before the race I’ll post a picture on my Autumn'sRunningLate Instagram page as a hub for information. Hopefully Blake, Carly, my mom and anyone else at the race in person will post updates there and everyone back at home can chime in and feel like they’re there too! I can’t wait to read your in-the-moment comments when I finish!

Race Goals:

  • Swim, 2.4 miles – 1 hour 18 minutes

  • T1 – 9 minutes (a bit of an unknown since there's a half mile run from the water to transition)

  • Bike, 112 miles – 7 hours; 16mph average (but 6 hours 35 minutes at a 17mph average would be AWESOME)

  • T2 – 6 minutes

  • Run, 26.2 miles – 4 hours 48 minutes at 11 min/mi pace (I plan to run everything except aid stations, but realistically, the run will certainly be the wildcard).

  • Total - 13 hours 21 minutes (but 13 hours flat would be even better!)

If you want to feel like you’re there and track from home, download the Ironman Tracker app. Select “Ironman Arizona Tempe” and search my bib number 1304. My buddy Greg Lyon is 2063, so you should probably track him too!

Thank you everyone that’s been following along and helped motivate me by speaking my love language (words of affirmation), being real with your honest advice, your constant fire, clapping, heart eyes, and ONE HUNDO emojis, and even some surprise gifts in the mail, whoa, my heart explodes! This has truly been a life changing experience!

Now. The pivotal moments. The ups and downs. Good or bad, these are the 10 most memorable parts of the last trimester, now let’s go deliver that Ironbaby!!

1. Superfrog 70.3

I was so nervous and scared this event would bring me to my knees (kind of how I’m feeling right now approaching IMAZ) but it was fun! I still can’t believe how incredible it was to body surf out of the swim, ride 56 miles without pain (because of the incredible lidocaine patch), and run on sand with confidence! I’m stronger than I give myself credit. Now just have to work on believing that!

2. New (to me) bike

Brent let me borrow his bike with the fancy wheels and crap for IMAZ and whoa, instantly I gained 2 mph! Maybe it was the high coming off Superfrog, I don’t know, but I like the bike. Then I actually did the research to properly set up the bike fit and my back hasn’t hurt since. It’s a Christmas miracle! …or common sense.

3. Dick on the road

Literally. There was a dick on the road. It was hot pink. Who does that? Legitametly trying to figure out the back story on this one. How did an anatomically larger than correct dildo end up on the shoulder entering Westmorland, California? “What’s that vibrating sound?” “Oh nothing” *chucks the pink schlong out the window*.

4. First attempt at a 5 hour ride

It wasn’t easy trying to fit a 5 hour ride into my day, but TWO FLAT TIRES?? I haven’t had a flat tire in 8 years of riding and suddenly I get two unrelated flat tires in one day? That ride just wasn’t meant to be.

5. Finally a 5 hour ride (third attempt)

Third times a charm. With everything against me at the beginning of the ride, I managed to get the elusive 5 hour ride checked off the list. First my bottle broke. Then my shoe broke, then my tire was flat! (are you counting, that’s three flats in one week), and top it off with 21 mph wind! But I pushed through and finished.

6. Skillet Macaroni & Turkey

A true example of Cumulative Fatigue. I have zero recollection of making this. I see pictures of it and I even wrote about how good it was, but I honestly can not remember making this dish. There are several work outs I finished and woke up the next morning not remembering the majority of, but an entire meal plus left overs completely forgotten? Man, it’s kind of scary actually.

7. New Shoes

I got these awesome limited edition Brooks Ghost 12 shoes inspired by ice-cream and they make me so happy! Hoping they bring me joy when I look down during my Ironman and am reminded of my favorite season of the year. Summer. The irony…

8. Fideos Basicas y Mantequilla con Queso

At the peakest part of peak training, I was too tired to cook and honestly just craved the simplest forms of carbohydrates. It’s embarrassing how many times I served myself basic noodles with butter and cheese. Fortunately the girls loved it too. We’re fancy.

9. El Centro Aquatic Center opens!

It’s been years in the making, but finally our city got a new pool! And it’s ridiculous nice. Add in that no ones really using it, so I get a lane to myself (actually, I usually get a pool to myself) and can come at any time throughout the day. I’m feeling spoiled.

10. Pouring rain

On a late night run in the week leading up to IMAZ, I found myself at the furthest point from home as rain began pouring over me. So hard that I could barely open my eyes. I hid my phone in my sports bra, the only protected pocket on me, and even that was drenched in water. At first I was worried about getting home, but then I realized I wasn’t in any real danger so I looked up at the sky and started laughing. One of my favorite childhood memories was running in the rain during the El Nino of 1997. I felt like a kid and purposely stayed outside longer to enjoy the memory.

But now onto the main event. I don’t know how this race is going to play out, but however it does, I look forward to sharing it with you. See you at the finish line (or in an ambulance).

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