General Discussion Triathlon Talk » 1st Time Sherpa Rss Feed  
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2013-11-12 11:49 AM

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Subject: 1st Time Sherpa

26 Triathlons

5 HIMs

1 IM

8 Marathons

None of it amounts to a hill of beans as I head into sherpa-ing for my wife.

Please give me your best piece of advice to support my wife at IMAZ.  (I have already gotten the "no unsolicited advice from my close friends on FB.  I will try).

 



2013-11-12 1:01 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

What has always been awesome for ME when I'm the only one doing a race and Tony is being my sherpa is:

1) kiss for good luck right before the swim start

2) seeing him at the swim exit/T1/bike out area 

3) seeing him at the bike in/T2/run out area

4) seeing him at the finish line and getting a congratulatory kiss & hug no matter how gross I am.  

5) he's always been awesome at taking lots of pics and then I get to have the say of which ones get turfed for whatever reason.  

 

For IM distance, he was also able to get my bike and gear and also snuck in some volunteering time at T2 so that he could slip a card into my T2 bag.   

 

 

2013-11-12 1:06 PM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
Originally posted by blueyedbikergirl

5) he's always been awesome at taking lots of pics and then I get to have the say of which ones get turfed for whatever reason.  




I second this! My DH takes LOTS OF PICS.
2013-11-12 1:09 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

I agree with Monica.  Be there to see her at the transition and the finish.  I always like it when my husband has a bag with some extra clothes and snacks I like for me at the finish so that I don't have to wait to go through bag check to get my stuff.  Also being able to hand him things (extra clothes, sandals, water bottle) right before swim start is helpful.

2013-11-12 1:13 PM
in reply to: Artemis

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Ditto. The best part of any race is seeing my wife and kids at T1, T2, and the finish line. They're a constant reminder of why I'm doing this craziness.

2013-11-12 1:20 PM
in reply to: vertseven

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

When my friend did the local tri here I took before and after swim pics, T1 and leaving on the bike then drove around to several spots along the bike route (ahead of her).  Had signs I taped onto my van at the side of the road and snapped pics of her during the bike.  Along the run course did the same thing, would drive ahead to take pics as she approached then passed by me.  Same at the finish line.  Put all the pics on a CD and also on photobucket so she could pick what she wanted. Of course this worked because it was a local race so I knew how to get around ahead of the racers.  Probably wouldn' t work as well at an IM or closed course race.



2013-11-12 1:47 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
First off it is great that you will be there to support your partner. Just that will be a huge help (as you know being on the receiving end) I agree with all the posts above but also add my "Sherpa" keeps track of all the rules, times, laps etc for me.

This may not count with an IM but for my Oly and some sprints we had to do like 4 laps on the bike route and 2 running. I was doing okay keeping track on the bike but when I started the run I blanked on laps so he was there on the sidelines to tell me. He also will only tell me how I am doing time wise BUT ONLY if I ask. I like to think I want to time then once I start I just do what I have to do and don't keep track.

I must say I don't think I could keep doing this without the 100% support I get from my Sherpa at every race. I think he gets more nervous than me sometimes and I know he is exhausted once it is done
2013-11-12 2:06 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
on the Sherpa topic, I want to get DH something like this for Xmas - shoot me anything good you may come across

http://www.spreadshirt.com/tri-sherpa-shirt-C3376A11842512#/detail/...



Edited by mtnbikerchk 2013-11-12 2:07 PM
2013-11-12 2:53 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
My husband has Sherpa'd for me in 2 IMs. Here's my thoughts, in no particular order

1) the athlete needs to be clear on what they want out of a sherpa. Discuss expectations a day or so before the race.

2) Discuss specific "I will see you at X spot" so they know where to look for the sherpa.

3) you may want to drop your athlete off at the race start and THEN find a parking space. Parking and transition is crazy and this will put your athlete at ease. Discuss a meet-up spot before you drop the athlete off.

4) be able to read their mood during the race. There will probably be a time where they are VERY unhappy and the last thing they want to hear is "you look great" or "you're almost done". My husband said this to me at the end of loop 2 of IMTX (I had 1+ loop to go and it SUCKED). I threw my sunglasses and hat at him in a major pity party move and wasn't very friendly (which of course, I felt AWFUL about later on).

5) bring plenty to drink and eat . also bring sunscreen and layers for you to wear throughout the day

6) get a portable cell phone charger to re-charge your phone

7) at the finish line, bring a bag of things for your athlete to change into

8) take lots of photos
2013-11-12 4:09 PM
in reply to: mountain_erin

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

My wife is an awesome sherpa, her first time was 3 months into us dating she sherpa'ed my first HIM. The things I appreciated were she looked for ways to help and just did it, didn't ask me a lot of questions or act put out at all. Also she did a great job of giving me verbal support but not taking it too far and letting me know that win, lose, DNS or DNF she was proud of me for training and she wanted me to have fun. Overall it was just nice to have her there to calm some nerves. We stood together and talked right up until 2 mins before my wave started in the swim. Was much better than standing around letting the nerves drive me crazy for an hour. Wasn't as big a deal for subsequent HIM's but was really nice at the first one. 

I am signed up for my first IM in June and I think she is more excited to sherpa than I am to race at this point. 

As the husband you need to find the right balance between encouragement and not pushing too hard. Don't have an expectation out of her for her race, let her race her race and make sure she knows you will be proud of her and happy for her no matter what the outcome. My wife competes in a different sport and I try to find this balance, it can be hard to do when she asks me to push her, but knowing when to back off and just be proud of and happy for her is an important line to find, it is different for everyone.

2013-11-13 8:37 AM
in reply to: pga_mike

Iron Donkey
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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Monica and Mountain_erin have given excellent advice.

It's all about being there for her which means PRESENCE.  Be visible to her and give her MUCH happy, enthusiastic and honest (not faking) support.

Be ready to possibly give a sweaty hug and NEVER complain.

You will be the beacon of light to her, but also be prepared for a possible change of attitude from her.  If she gets upset, distant, mad, wants to rip your head off, etc., keep encouraging the positive attitude and support.

Just ask several of my friends that have done IM WI while I was jockstrapping/volunteering of how much I was a big boost in spirit to them - I am relentless with being on the course and cheering on my peeps, and to others that I don't know but need that little extra encouragement.

You have already experienced the participants side, now pay it forward.  You will have a great day and make her have even a better day!



2013-11-13 9:19 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

I did make her two signs.  Big ol' yard signs.  One on the bike and one on the run.

Blue Eyed Biker Girl - I am definitely sneaking a note into her Transition Bags.



Edited by pga_mike 2013-11-13 9:31 AM
2013-11-13 10:10 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

This isn't a necessity but booking a massage for her for a few days after would be an AWESOME gift!



Edited by trishie 2013-11-13 10:12 AM
2013-11-13 12:31 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Originally posted by pga_mike

I did make her two signs.  Big ol' yard signs.  One on the bike and one on the run.

Blue Eyed Biker Girl - I am definitely sneaking a note into her Transition Bags.

Thats awesome. I think IMAZ is a multi loop bike and run so if you find a good place you can see her multiple times.  Its always good to see a happy familiar face.  Best thign for me after is to have my recovery shoes.....find out if she has some flip flops ro soemthign to change out of her runnignshoes after she is done.

2013-11-13 12:33 PM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Originally posted by trishie

This  IS


 a necessity but booking a massage for her for a few days after would be an AWESOME gift!

fixed that  The gift of a post race massage will be an awesome thing.  

My husband goes to most of my races, taking pictures, shouting out times/ splits…..if I have a friend racing he'll tell me how I am doing compared tp that person.  I do think a post race massage is a necessity--especially for the IM when she will likely be carting her exhausted self to the airport a few days post race.  Book it before the race so she has it to look forward to.

2013-11-13 5:07 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
Seeing my SO when I come out of the swim. It a reaffirmation I have survived.

Seeing her when I start the run, and hopefully a time or two during the run.

And of course at the finish line.

She is always jumping and waving like an idiot. I can identify her by her action long before I can actually recognize her.

For me the number one very best thing about my sherpa is the overabundance of positive energy. She really believes I am doing great (and says so) when I am at my very worst in the race.

BTW: take hydration and nutrition with you. Sherpa bonk is not pretty. You are in for a long day as well.

God luck to you both!!


2013-11-14 10:13 AM
in reply to: halfmarathondon

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Great advice so far.  I would say taking tons of photos and being visible as much as possible are huge. 

My hubby has been my sherpa for 3 IMs now, and is phenomenal.  My last one had a 3 lap run course, and from talking ahead of time, I had expected to see him at the far turn of of my 1st or 2nd lap.  I saw him as I left transition, but didn't see him again until the turn around of lap 3 (he had to run our kiddo and my mom back to the house for a rest), and it started to get to me as I was starting lap 3.

If she uses ice baths (and she should), take responsibility for making sure you have plenty of ice at the ready, and run the bath for her after the race while she is eating a recovery meal.  Personally, while I know the ice bath will help so much, after the effort of an IM, the last think I want to do is haul a bag of ice into the bathroom and sit there waiting for the tub to fill.

2013-11-21 9:09 PM
in reply to: swgtri

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

She crossed the line, and I took lots of photos.  Success!

2013-11-22 8:56 AM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Until recently I was Mike's sherpa and I wouldn't trade that for anything!  At his first IM (CdA) I took pictures of him out and about town before the race, signing his "death waiver", standingby signs all throughout town, etc.  On race day, we had made a sign for him to hang in the hotel room for when he got back!  I tried to be at every possible point to cheer him on, I worked as a volunteer so I could see him and cheer him on.  I was so proud of him!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE telling people that my husband is a 2x IM.  

2013-11-23 8:20 AM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Originally posted by pga_mike

She crossed the finish line, and I took lots of photos.  Success!

And we are still (happily) married!

2013-11-23 9:17 PM
in reply to: pga_mike

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
This post makes me a bit sad.

I am a single guy and I train, travel and race alone. I was almost in tears a few times on the bike and run courses of IM WI while doing the race when I passed proud wives, kids, husbands, grandparents with signs and hugs and kisses for their athletes. It must be so heartening and uplifting to see this while you are out on the course. You may be down, at your lowest point and a sign, or a hug from a family member could change your entire race. I know after the race when I was collecting all my gear bags and bike and making the long walk back to my car after spending 12+ hours on the race and being up since 4:00am that I really could have used someone. I know from experience that you can do it alone, but I also know that it is so much better when you have someone at your side. Never take that for granted.

Dwayne


2013-11-25 9:21 PM
in reply to: DeVinci13

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa

Originally posted by DeVinci13 This post makes me a bit sad. I am a single guy and I train, travel and race alone. I was almost in tears a few times on the bike and run courses of IM WI while doing the race when I passed proud wives, kids, husbands, grandparents with signs and hugs and kisses for their athletes. It must be so heartening and uplifting to see this while you are out on the course. You may be down, at your lowest point and a sign, or a hug from a family member could change your entire race. I know after the race when I was collecting all my gear bags and bike and making the long walk back to my car after spending 12+ hours on the race and being up since 4:00am that I really could have used someone. I know from experience that you can do it alone, but I also know that it is so much better when you have someone at your side. Never take that for granted. Dwayne

I have two recommendations for you:

1) Join a local tri team.  They can become your family.  There is a love and joy that we share, especially the ones who have done 140.6.

2) Reach out to fellow BT-ers.  There are almost always some at any given race.  I've met a few and they have always been terrific!

I love my teammates.  They are like brothers & sisters / aunts & uncles / nieces & nephews.

 

2013-11-26 7:46 AM
in reply to: DeVinci13

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Subject: RE: 1st Time Sherpa
Originally posted by DeVinci13

This post makes me a bit sad.

I am a single guy and I train, travel and race alone. I was almost in tears a few times on the bike and run courses of IM WI while doing the race when I passed proud wives, kids, husbands, grandparents with signs and hugs and kisses for their athletes. It must be so heartening and uplifting to see this while you are out on the course. You may be down, at your lowest point and a sign, or a hug from a family member could change your entire race. I know after the race when I was collecting all my gear bags and bike and making the long walk back to my car after spending 12+ hours on the race and being up since 4:00am that I really could have used someone. I know from experience that you can do it alone, but I also know that it is so much better when you have someone at your side. Never take that for granted.

Dwayne


Great post to remind us of how lucky many of us have it.

I almost never see my wife when I am racing. Afterwards she will ask, "did you see me at point x, I was screaming like crazy?" My answer is always, "Ummmm, no," which usually leads to her being a little bit put-out. I second the point about designating a place that you (the sherpa) will be along the course so they can specifically look for you at points on the course.

At Tahoe, one of my favorite memories of the whole race was coming out of T2 (knowing that my goals for this race were pretty much long gone) and seeing my wife standing along the exit chute. At that point time goals were pretty much meaningless so I stopped and gave my wife a big smooch (which got cheers from the crowd) on the way out to the run. That memory kept me smiling for much of the 26.2 miles.
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