I always send an email to my athletes about 12 weeks out from their Ironman. It's the "Get your S#!T Together" email and it goes something like this:
You have 12 weeks until your Ironman. Now is the time to purchase 10 new tire tubes, 2-4 new tires, 10 CO2 cartridges, a new swimsuit, 2 pairs of new goggles, 1-2 new pairs of running shoes including the ones you are going to race in. Don't forget to make some freezer meals, and stock up on all training nutrition. Yada Yada Yada...
It's those final 12 weeks where you will get 3 flats in one day, you will run out of your favorite chews, eat you last salted carmel GU, run on worn out shoes. You name it. The last 12 weeks, when you need to be at your best for every session, is usually when you have 2-3 days that the poop hits the fan.
Preach it sister.
But....sometimes I am too busy worrying about the ponies and the 12 weeks to go mark passes without me doing the things I advise. Today the shit hit the fan. It's always when I'm tired too. My Garmin was dead because I left my bike in the car overnight with the Garmin turned on. I got it charging and went to fill bottles only to see that I didn't have any Osmo. I filled my bottles with ice water and put them on my bike. Once the Garmin hit 47% I grabbed it and headed out the door.
I pumped up my tire and our pump wasn't working, so I went and got the one that lives in the car. Pumped the tires and the rear went flat. I changed it and grabbed my last two tubes that were also living in the car. Off I went. 1/2 mile later I flatted, and then 1.5 miles later I flatted again. 2 miles from home, 3 flats later, and I called Troy to come get me.
So I pulled back and regrouped. Spent the whole rest of the day preparing for flipping Armageddon! This means war.
#1 - 3 brand new tires, and 8 tubes, all with valve extenders (did that myself thank you very much). Pack those into a bin along with spare break pads, CO2, and some spare bento boxes and store it all in the car.
#2 - Go around house and collect all the bike tools that ran away and get them back into tool box and back into the car.
#3 - Emergency fueling tupperware. My favorite bars, waffles, chews, a tube of Nuun, and a container of Osmo. For emergency use only. Pack that bad boy into the car.
#4 - 2 gallons of water in the car at all times. Refill those and secure them in the car so they don't roll around.
#5 - Restock on the training nutrition. 5+ of everything, and ditch everything I'm not using.
#6 - Assemble complete under the seat flat change kits for BOTH bikes (I had been swapping from one to the other because I didn't own 2 CO2 nozzles). Not anymore, both bikes are now armed and dangerous.
#6 - Just for me: Order new pedals and cleats (long overdue), $100 worth of Endurance Shield sunscreen (also long overdue), new run shoes and new bar tape.
#7 - Bonus TIP: Waterproof envelope from REI ($10) duct taped to your water bottle. It sits on deck and you can read your swim workout and it doesn't get wet. Big carabiner to hook it onto your swim bag.
I'm locked and loaded for the next 8 weeks. I feel ready for battle!
And honestly, I gotta give a huge shout out to my mom today. She turned my panicked "But I'm not getting my ride done" cries into a rather fine "make lemonade out of lemons" speech. She got me to organize all the disorganization in my brain and to get a plan of action for the afternoon. Thanks mom for always being there for me. Love you.