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Cooties. Taper. 5 Days to Ironman.

Just the word “taper” makes me shudder.

The Taper Worm, as I have called it in the past, is actually pretty quiet at the moment. I guess because I have had sort of a non-traditional taper (and training build… ah-hem, none), so this experience is completely, absolutely new terrain for me.

In light of the time, many of you have asked me whether Ironman Louisville is still going to be “Best Race Ever“…

Well, now… I’m not super keen on the “free illness” that might be happening with swimming in the Ohio river.  I have all my cootie shots and anti-whatever pills packed, and I actually practiced swimming with my mouth sealed shut like super-glued this morning in the pool.

(The quote that makes me uneasy about the above is “recreational activity.” To me, that means boating or skiing or wading in the water… not necessarily 2.4 miles of swimming face-down and drinking the water.  But who am I? Semantics. Words. Who knows…)


So, we may not even have a swim in Louisville, which would totally suck… but really, what can you do?  Race the race you are given. Complain and be mad, sure. But do your damn— (wait, I can’t use that. Trademark infringement. Unlike some people, I actually DO care about that. 🙂 )

I’m a swimmer in my heart. So it’s the one part of the three that actually makes me feel okay. So cutting the swim for me is super sad face.

But you show up and grow up and race the race on that day.  

This is a summary of my Facebook tangent a few weeks ago…  I would never drop out of an Ironman just because a swim is cancelled.  [Thinking about IM Florida in 2014 when people heard the news that the swim was cancelled, and just walked off the course. Didn’t even bother to race.  Frankly, I think you’re a giant whining crybaby if you act like that.]  Part of what makes each Ironman unique is the course and the conditions and circumstances you’re given ON race day. In my opinion, it will be a much harder race mentally if the swim is cut —because you’re out there fighting for a whole other end goal—one you didn’t consider, with new plans, new nutritional considerations, and a whole lot of wardrobe re-thinks.  Flexibility, adaptability and grace under pressure is what makes a triathlete and an Ironman triathlete. Not whining. Not complaining. Not blame. And by the way—that race will still be incredibly difficult—112 miles on the bike and a 26.2 marathon? That sounds pretty hard to me.   🙂

So anyway. Hopefully we swim.  If not, oh well.  Onto the hardest brick ever in the BEST RACE EVER.

But really, I started off on an even braver adventure this morning… coaching my own spouse. One who, by design, is named “the Expert.”  Perhaps we should have a contest for bets on how long the marriage will last.


I began the packing prep this morning.

With the giant bags.  How far along am I in the packing?  Well, the bags are labeled.  Moving on.


If you are looking for an Ironman Checklist or Race Day Planner, I put together this little gem in 2013… I’m sure there are some things that need updating, but it’s a good start if you are wandering around your kitchen clueless, or rocking in a corner somewhere, muttering why oh why oh why….  Oh, and here’s another post with more info than you may care to know about Ironman packing.  And while I am at it, here’s the 70.3 checklist.

Whew.  I’m just the information super-highway this morning.


So how am I feeling about Race Day?

Simply fantastic.

Really. Truly.

I have nothing to lose, everything to gain. I have a heart of thankful things and a few random butterflies, but I really feel okay. I wish I had some more fitness behind me, but due to all the drama, I have what I have to give. And I will give it my all.  That I can promise you.

And it’s SO crazy that I “just” did this a little over two months ago for Lake Placid.


People say two Ironman races (for mere mortals) in a year is crazy (it is), but I feel that I am on my game and ready to pack like a pro.  (Not race like a pro, you’ll note. 🙂 )

Pack. Pack like a pro.

(Which is why I have Lake Placid and Chattanooga on the books for next year. So I can pack like a pro again!)

I am just so excited to be back in the Ironman Village and ready to race. I have a race plan and an idea of how to protect my feet from the blister issues. (Swiftwick socks. Brooks Glycerine 13.  Powder.  Bam.)


Giant purple boysocks, as my friend Amy calls them.

They might not be sexy (Swiftwick does make a shorter version and actually, many other versions), but either way- these boysocks are gonna keep my feet DRY and happy!


This coming Monday, I will be waking up morning after race day at Ironman Louisville …maybe a 4 x 140.6 finisher, maybe a 3 x 140.6 and a 1 x 138.2   finisher, or none of the above.  Because one thing that is NOT certain? Race day. Life. (Everything, actually. ) 


I will #bebravebethankful and take in the glorious day– the massive uncertainties and all—thanking God for the body that I have right now.

Taking nothing for granted, assuming nothing…

Except my ability to #justkeepmovingforward at all times within my control.

Thank you all for your love and support, as always.

It’s gonna be a fun day–can’t wait to see many of you out in Lou!


Don’t forget about the Swim Bike Fuel program

We have a handful of spots left for November.
This program changed everything for me in terms of my nutrition.
Really hope to see you guys there.

Go here to learn more.

Meredith Atwood 2014 (Left) and 2015 (Right)

Meredith Atwood 2014 (Left) and 2015 (Right)



  • Angie

    October 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    You’ve definitely been tested by fire this season, Meredith! But you came out on top and thumbed your nose at all those potentially race/season ending obstacles. You earned your place on the swings! Go enjoy your victory lap at LOU! We’ll be race-stalking you here in Florida!

  • Rayann

    October 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    You’ve got this Meredith!!! You are an inspiration to all of us!! Even without all the obstacles that you have encountered these last few months!! My condolences on the loss of your grandmother and I’m sure she’ll be with you on race day. Go out there and give it all you’ve got!!! You are gonna be GREAT!!!! Will be watching in Michigan!!

  • TENN

    October 6, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Interesting about the ambiguous wording regarding the microcystins levels for recreational activity. Great that the levels are within acceptable ranges.

    When sampling for bacteria, there are primary contact (i.e. swimming) recreation and secondary contact recreation (i.e. kayaking) levels. I looked up the microcystins information on the EPA website and it appears that states do not distinguish between primary and secondary. I will have to ask at work tomorrow.

  • Naomi

    October 7, 2015 at 12:54 am

    You said it. Be brave. Be Thankful. I had a tough week with people committed to misunderstanding my special needs autistic son but you know what, just like everything else we do as SBM. We persevere. We keep moving forward. We do the next right thing. When your out there on the course, just do the next mile, don’t worry about the next leg, the finish line, anything! Just do the next mile. You got this. You’re an inspiration to us all. Go get em!

  • Alli

    October 7, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Wohoo!! So excited for you and that you are so looking forward to it despite all the “drama”. I will be cheering from far away!! Have a great race and have LOTS of fun!! xxx

  • SoAnyway

    October 8, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Tris I have done that cancelled the swim have converted to a du (I suspect to avoid having a mass start of the bike leg). Do they not do that at IM distance?


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