Well, it’s back t reality today. Kinda. My body is a bit off due to lack of sleep/jet lag and my brain still wanting to work at 30% capacity, but we’re getting there! And yes, it was so worth the 4 ½ days in Hawaii to see my husband race. No doubt about that!
So be patient with me here. I wanted to share a recap of the race but I think I’ll let my husband go more into that when he returns. Instead, I’m going to talk about the fuel. Sure, I fuel my husband with pre and post workout/training/race day eats, the support crew needs to get in fuel as well!
I most definitely have “race” day food, and actually I often joke to my husband that we Sherpa’s gotta pack like we’re racing, fueling when we can and hydrating when there’ a place to rest. Depending on the race distance, it could be anywhere from 4 to 15 hours out there.
Let me walk you through a shorter race (Olympic to half ironman).
4am: Wake up, make coffee (extra strong) and food for husband
4:30am: While husband preps his bike, bottles, etc. I pack the back pack and bottles for me. I usually throw in food that is going to sit well in my stomach. Sorry, not a lot of veggies or anything messy. Usually a Gluten free sandwich of some sort, a protein shake or premade smoothie, bananas, bars , etc. Simple food.
5 –5:30am: we roll out.
6am: Arrive in transition and Husband takes any remaining calories (gels, pre race drink, etc. ) Sherpa hydrates. I like to bring a drink for the morning like coconut water or kombucha (if the local grocer there have it). But I also try not to drink too much because there are not a lot porta potties available pre-race. Probably a good thing too. Haha!
7am: Race begins. I’m usually off trying to keep track of swim course, photography, tracking swim time, etc..
Once they are off on the bike I have a good 1-3 hrs. Like I said, depends on the race distance. This is where a Sherpa should fuel! I usually grab another cup of coffee, eat my banana, bar, or smoothie/protein shake, etc.. I try to get updates from the bike course as well.
As soon as I hear that the pros are on their way back in, I run to T2 and set up shop. Bust out the camera, check my watch, monitor the splits, text updates to family, etc..
Now for the run. If it’s spectator friendly, I’ll run around from point to point trying to snap pictures and track splits. Lots of running myself! Then it’s off to the finish line for the last 10 minutes.
At the finish line you wait… and sometimes wait more. Anticipating. I get nervous, anxious, etc. That’s when my kombucha comes in handy, no joke! Gingerade to the rescue! If no kombucha, I bring a sprite or gingerale.
Note: if it’s an ironman race, you’ll have plenty of time to actually find a decent lunch. But always pack a sandwich or wrap, just in case!
Post Race: Once the husband has finished, I usually go hang out with him in the athlete tent. Give him a big hug, kiss, and get him refueled. I always bring extra food in case his stomach is not liking the post race food (which is rare). Once he is done cheering everyone else on in, we sit down and talk about the race or talk to others. This is when I ask him to go steal me some fruit, chips, more drinks/water from the athlete tent (haha) and I eat my oh so tasty sandwich. Yep, no take advantage of that post race athlete food. There’s always plenty! Oh and if it’s a fun post race (like Lavaman) they’ll have beer and a BBQ. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the people and scenery!
So you see, Sherpa fuel is important too! Dense calories are sometimes needed, especially if it’s a longer race! You gotta be ready to run at any moment and you need food that doesn’t cause any GI distress, especially if you are a nervous wife like me at times.
Happy back to reality Wednesday!