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Daily Life Of Ironman Sherpa 💃🏽

Two weeks ago, I was honored to be a coach at the Ironman 70.3 Texas with my three athletes that were racing, along with my husband and my dear friend, Stephanie. I was cheering, freezing, coaching, hugging, taking photos, screaming and taking more photos. Everyone I was cheering on and coaching, crossed that finish line and it was AHHMAZING!

BUT….

I am going to be 100% honest with you. I have done 13 Ironman Triathlons, along with numerous Ironman 70.3 Triathlons and I would MUCH rather do the race, then being an Ironman Sherpa.

WHAT?

Yes, being an Ironman Sherpa is exhausting but let’s chat about what a “sherpa” is and then I will break down the day for you, at least this is how I do it and probably why I am exhausted!  Next week, I will share with you my “Top 5 Tips to Being Best Sherpa Ever!”

First of all, let’s chat about the word “Sherpa” and where it actually came from. According to Dictionary.com, Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” When folks wanted to climb Mount Everest, the Sherpa Tribe, were very knowledgeable of climbing the Himalayan Region. As time went on, the word Sherpa, has been used as a byword for a guide or a mentor in other situations, such as an Ironman Triathlon.  (While I am not into climbing Mount Everest, the whole “Sherpa” story is quite interesting, as how it got started and why it is still going: http://sherpafilm.com/trailer/.)

Next, what those “Sherpas” do on Mount Everest, isn’t EVEN close to what Ironman Triathlon Sherpas do, it is still exhausting.  To be a TRUE Ironman Sherpa, let’s break down the day of being an Ironman Triathlon (These times are approximate with a 3 loop run course):

4:00 am: Athlete gets up. So do you. 

5:00 am: Athlete heads down to race start. So do you.

5:30 am: Transition Opens. Athlete sets up their bike, etc. You wait. Take photos. Say Hi to everyone. Stay warm if it is chilly. Take more photos. Calm the athlete down.

7:00(ish) am: Race Starts. Athlete goes swim. You try to see them take off but everyone has a black wetsuit on AND same color swim caps for men and women. Dang it.You can’t see them.

8:10 – 8:15 am: Athlete gets out of the water, at a time estimate. Athlete told you their estimated time, so you are waiting at the finish of the swim to “hopefully” see your athlete. Dang it, everyone looks the same. You see them coming out. You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming! So excited to see them get out of the water.

8:15 – 8:20 am: Athlete runs to T1. You know you have time to run up to the bike exit, because they have to go into the tent, change and grab their bike.

8:20 am: You see them exit the T1. You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming! Dang it. My phone only has 5%. I better go recharge.

8:20 am – 1:00 pm: You, the Sherpa need to do these things in no particular order: Shower. Eat. Drink more coffee. Maybe eat more or grab snacks!  Drink water. Nap. Charge the phone. Watch your rider on the charging phone on the Ironman Triathlon app. Drive back down to the T2.

1:45 pm: You know your athlete is coming in. You tracked them the whole way. They are close. Dang it, everyone looks the same. You see them coming into T2. Tired. Hot. But with a smile! You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming!

1:50 pm: Athlete runs into T2. You know you have time to run up to the run exit, because they have to go into the tent, change and grab their running shoes and nutrition.

1:55 pm: Athlete comes out of T2 and they are off for their first loop (Maybe a two loop or a three loop run). You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming!

2:40 pm: You run down to a spot, where you know you can see them for the 2nd time on the run. You are watching the Ironman App. They are close!

2:45 pm: There they are! You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming!

3:15 pm: Have to go to the bathroom. Have I gone today? I need more water and a snack.

3:40 pm: Shoot. Did I miss them? Where are they are the map? I have to go find them.

4:15 pm: Yahoo! Found them. You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming!

4:55 pm: Dang it. Phone is about to die because I am taking photos and using the app and Instagram Stories. Better charge it with my extra charger.

5:30 pm: Wait? What is going on? Why is the Ironman tracker stopped? People stop texting me. I don’t have much juice. What you see on the tracker is what I am seeing on the tracker. I don’t know what is going on? Where is my athlete? I am stressing out. What if I miss them?

6:00 pm: Better head to the finish line. I HAVE to see them there. Dang it is crowded. Oh shit. My phone is low on battery. I found a plug at a building to get that perfect photo!

6:15 pm: OH MY WORD. The app says they are close by!

6:17 pm: OH MY WORD. The app says they are close by!

6:18 pm: OH MY WORD. The app says they are close by!

6:20 pm: OH SHIT. I almost missed them!!! There they are! You have the camera, the phone and you are screaming! They can’t hear you because all they hear is:

“_______________. You. Are. An. Ironman.”

They did it!!! You go running around to find them through the crowd. “Excuse me. Excuse me. My athlete just finished. You seem them. They are happy, excited, tired and exhausted. But they did it. They just rocked 140.6 miles!

And….

According to YOUR Garmin Fenix 5S watch, you walked 20,300 steps, which is equivalent to 10 miles!  

Yes….

“____________. You. Are. An. Ironman. Sherpa!”

You get your athletes clothing and gear and you walk back to the car. You put the athlete into the car, try to offer their recovery drink or a Coke and they give you the look of death. They want NOTHING sweet or a banana. They just want a shower and smile.

Next week, I will give you my “5 Tips To Being The Best Sherpa Ever 💥”…

(These photos below are from Ironman 70.3 Galveston. Enjoy!)

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Daily Meal Planning 🍌🍳

**Disclaimer: This article may be more for triathletes that are just starting to get into the sport or people who are wanting to get a little bit more organized with their food intake. This article may not be for your if you have been doing this for a while. I have so many people asking me about nutrition, planning and recipes that I have used but honestly, I HATE to cook. With that said, I did share some of my go to websites and cookbooks to help you out! **

Meal planning can be one of the single most important aspects of developing a healthy lifestyle. When we are unable to visualize the future of our eating, it can be very easy to succumb to the temptations of unhealthy foods that we have become addicted to. Especially if it is our habit to eat them rather than eating the foods that will nourish us. As triathletes, we are creatures of habits and we tend to gravitate to the same things, which is VERY EASY to do. Honestly, that is ok!

Meal planning is quite an endeavor. It can be somewhat intimidating, especially to somebody who suffers with organization but if you are a triathlete and training for an Ironman Triathlon, you have to be organized! But, if you find yourself having a hard time with meal planning, don’t fret. There are many ways that you can begin to delve into meal planning that are fun and easy, whether you struggle with creativity in the kitchen or not.

There are many meal planning kits that you can buy. Many of them have the option of ordering boxes full of fresh foods to cook with and include recipes that you can use. This can be very helpful if you are not used to cooking, which is often the case. Especially when poor eating habits and a busy work schedule make it seem difficult to carve out the time necessary in order to make full, nourishing meals. I have personally tried Sun Basket, which I did enjoy for about 3 months but as our training increased, so did our food intake, so we were not getting enough calories in our dinners. I probably should have ordered for a family but then it started getting more expensive and I didn’t want to go that route.

The first step in meal planning is research and you have to look at your options. Researching recipes is the best first place to start. Accumulating a binder full of healthy foods that you want to try out can be both fun and educational. It will open your mind to several food possibilities you may have otherwise scoffed at as too difficult for you to prepare, or maybe teach you things you had never known before.

Some of the websites that I will head to for recipes are:

Check out these great tips from PaleOMG:

One of my favorite books that was given to me is Run Fast. Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan. Click the book and this will take you to Amazon to grab the book! 

Recipes can be very mind-opening. Especially when you are interested in making new discoveries. Cooking can be a hard habit to get into, but once you begin to master it, you will be surprised by just how much freedom you can find in putting a meal together for yourself that is both health-conscious and delicious!

Look at recipe books and magazines and get an accumulation of recipes that you want to try. Start with the things that look the most delicious and nourishing, and if you are a novice in the kitchen, you may also want to look to the things that seem the most simple.

Next, you should keep your recipes organized in a simple way that is easy to navigate. Make sure that they are easily accessible, so that when you want to begin preparing your meal you can do so easily. If you are using a binder, you may want to consider laminating the pages or using plastic sleeves, so that if you are using it in the kitchen, they are not affected by water or other food contamination.

When you organize your recipes, it would help to put them in order of breakfast meals, lunch meals, dinner meals, and snacks. This will help you to reference the proper recipes more easily once you begin to start cooking. If you like, you could even organize your binder by day of the week, and have your meals planned out for every day and printed out in the binder that way.

Sometimes, it is just easier for me to see what I have in the frig, type in what I have and there you go, you can find some amazing recipes online.

Next, you should explore software such as Google Spreadsheet or Excel on Microsoft Office that will help you to organize your meal planning. On Excel you will find a plethora of templates you can choose from to help yourself plan out your meals by the day, time, and week. This can be a hugely valuable resource!

If you would prefer not to use Google Spreadsheet, there are also apps you could download on your phone or tablet or another device to help you to utilize your time and resources better. You can even go the old fashioned route and buy a notebook that is specially designed toward planning meals. I found this GREAT post about 10 food planning apps that can help you in your journey.

This is an important step in making sure your meals are organized and easily accessible. Having a meal plan is extremely helpful when it comes to embarking upon a journey of healthy eating. Creating good habits takes time and patience, and it is inevitable that you will slip somewhere along the way. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stay stuck on the ground! Actually, it just means that you are going to have to get back up and keep trying, because giving up is far easier than sticking to your plans.

One thing that can really help when it comes to meal planning is sticking with the theme. For example, a lot of people have specific themes like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday or another day that is assigned for a specific type of meal. If you think that would help you to stay on track, feel free to imitate that type of meal planning. It is done for a reason, because it works and it helps to keep things simple and streamlined. There is no wrong way to plan your meals.

Something that can truly help you to succeed at meal planning is accountability. Let your spouse, partner, friend, or coach help you out and ask them if they would be willing to help you to stick to your routine. They can help you by asking questions about how things are going and whether or not you are staying on track. They may also choose to encourage you and cheer you on through your endeavors.

Another way to take accountability is by taking personal accountability. Personal accountability can be achieved through journaling and self affirmations. Talking to yourself about your goals, what do you do it internally or out loud, can be a good way to help you to stay focused and ask yourself whether or not you are doing the things that you hope to accomplish. Or just taking time to be with yourself and NOT your phone and computer. Right?

If you find that you are not, instead of beating yourself up about it, consider your obstacles and move on as you begin to uncover them. If you try, everything will ultimately fall into place because you are making an effort and creating positive changes in your life.

I truly love journaling and it is useful for many reasons. I have also chatted with you all about My Fitness Pal and it is so much easier to plug in your meals and see how many calories you are taking in or NOT taking in. The nice thing about MFP is that once you start eating the same things, it will recognize what you are eating with what. Once again, we are creatures of habit.

Another thought about journaling is to start writing down thoughts and ideas about food.

  1. Do you have something against food?
  2. Was it an issue for you growing up?
  3. Is it an issue for you now?
  4. Are there certain foods that make you happy or cause you joy?
  5. Are there certain foods that make you blah or emotional?

Journaling about your experiences and food prep can help you to uncover your innermost thoughts about the process and things that you might not even realize were holding you back. You will begin to sense patterns in your behavior and possibly predict when you might find yourself tempted to get off track and why. If you are able to identify these trigger points, it will be easier to avoid them in the future.

Meal planning can be a very fun and exciting endeavor. Even if you aren’t the type who enjoys that type of organization, it can be very rewarding to think about exactly what you are going to be putting in your body and take the steps necessary in actually doing so. Everybody deserves a chance to become the healthiest and most healthy version of themselves possible, and with meal planning and a healthy dose of self-esteem, you will be well on your way to a lifestyle of healthy eating.

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Find Your 😇 & 😈 On Race Day

And away we go. This weekend, we will see athletes lining up at the North America early season Ironman 70.3 Triathlons, either at Oceanside, California or Galveston, Texas. This is the exciting time for a lot of us. Not only as an athlete but also as a coach. As an athlete, I get to see where I am at for the season (even though I am not racing this weekend) but as a coach, I get to see where my athletes are at AND I get to see what we need to improve on over the next couple of months.

I wanted to share with you a post that I did and I chat about this a lot, “Who is Sitting on Your Shoulder?” We have many positives on our race course but we also have many negatives that we have to deal with! Tell me. Are you going to keep Positive Polly (Angel) or Negative Nancy (Devil) on your shoulder this weekend and  through out the 2018 Triathlon Season? You decide….

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#RulonTriTip of the Day | Week #13

Hello! Week #12 got a bit messed up on audio. I will have to put that information back together again BUT here is Week #13!

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Brain Dump + Quarterly Goals = Successful Year

Here is a very common conversation that I have with a lot of people:

Me: How’s it going? How is life?

Friend/Coach/Business Owner: I am good but SUPER busy and overwhelmed.

Me: I get it 100%. I hate to say it, I am not a fan of the word, “busy.” I like to think of my life as being “full.” I have a lot going on but I make sure I stay on track.

Friend/Coach/Business Owner: Oh that’s good! I like that. How are you staying on track?

Me: Every week, I will do a brain dump and stay on my quarterly goals.

Friend/Coach/Business Owner: Do tell….

So many people will ask me, how the heck do you get so much done in a day?

First of all, I really do think of my upbringing, as my Momma has been a go getter her whole life. So props to my Mom! Second of all, I have goals and a vision NOT only for my personal life and family life, but my coaching, and my business. In my world, I am used to the BHAG (Big HAiry Audacious Goals) but as I have been running my business for over 5 years, I realized it is not always easy to look at the BHAG to be able to get shit done on a weekly or a monthly basis.

With that said, let me share with you my how I organize my days and months, so that maybe this can help you with your everyday life, and your business!

Step 1: Figure out Your Year Goals

Having goals have always been a HUGE priority for me and when I think of goals, I think of goals that have been around for years, like my 28 year old goal to qualify for Ironman Kona! While seeing those BIG GOALS are amazing, you still need to break down those bigger goals into year goals. Because we need to realize that those goals will not happen overnight. Remember Steve Jobs did not become a overnight sensation.

Questions to ask yourself heading into your year:

  1. What do you want to accomplish this year personally?
  2. What do you want to accomplish this year  in your business?
  3. What do you want to accomplish this year in your athletics?
  4. How will you accomplish those goals? Be specific
  5. When do you want to accomplish those goals by?

Tip: Even though you may see a BIG goal, you need to break that BIG goal down even further into the yearly goals. For your business, you want to be invited to the BIGGEST stage in your niche ever. How do you get there? Speak more? Sign up for Toastmasters or National Speakers Association. Truly break down the year to get closer to that BIG goal!

Step 2: Write Out Your Quarterly Goals

Before you start the brain dumping, you really want to break down your year into quarters and we know what that is all about:

  • January to March
  • April to June
  • July to September
  • October to December

I will make sure that my quarters are align with my brain dumping. For example, January to March, I have a lot of new athletes come on board, so I may have to focus more on educational aspects of my coaching. As April to June, rolls around, they get my “verbiage” right? They start realizing that I am not the best at math and may figure out that my 2100 Swim is only 1900 Swim. Then in October to December, I may have athletes drop off. I either need to start plugging more that I have spots available for the coming year or I will take a break myself.

Tip: Grab a six month calendar that you can write on. Write down the major events going on that apply to your business BUT also your life. When you see the BIG picture roll in, you will see how much easier it is to break down your quarters.

Step 3: Brain Dump on Sundays

I first heard this phrase, “Brain Dump” from Angelica Kim. I have to give her props because this is something that has truly helped me with my business!

Every Sunday, I will pull out a good old fashion MoleSkine Calendar. Get out a pencil and start writing everything down. I will do the priority planning first. Then I will write out what I need to do with my:

  • Athletes and Rulon Racing
  • Coaching the Coach Clients
  • Working with Brands
  • Website

This is a weekly brain dump as I really need to focus on the week. If something pops up during the week, that needs to get done, I will make it happen but I have to make sure I move things around.  For example, a priority is to get my blogs done for a month at a time BUT this week and next week, is tax time. So, the priority will be the taxes and the blogs will have to be knocked out a week at a time for a bit.

Tip: Make sure you do it Sunday before your work week starts. You can take 30 minutes out of your day, to plan for the week. Grab some earphones, your calendar from your phone, pencil and the MoleSkine Planner and start brain dumping. Your family will thank you for it, as it does relieve some stress.

This topic reminds me of something I chatted about in my Rulon Tri Tip, Week #10. I chatted about goals that were Outcome Goals, Process Goals and Performance Goals. It truly is a way of looking at your year, but I promise you when you are break down these goals as a business owner or a coach, it will make running your business a WHOLE lot easier!

Interested in more tips about the running a business or how to build your brand authentically online? Grab my FREE Guide to “Rocking YOUR BRAND!” Click the photo below!

 

 

 

 

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