Dealing with an OCD Sherpa


Plenty of people have asked me why I chose Mont Tremblant as my first full distance triathlon. To be honest, it had little to do with the course, the timing, the brand or even the location really. It came down to the fact that it's sometimes scary travelling solo to a race and the last thing I wanted to do was cross the finish line after a full day's worth of racing without my in-case-of-emergency present. From experience, I knew I could only get my parents to a race if it was somewhere interesting. After pitching a few locations, I got them to okay Mont Tremblant and punched my Ironman ticket. Bottom line: I'm so excited to have the support; this will be my mom's first time seeing me race and my dad's first time since my very second triathlon back in 2011.

Everything was mellow until a few weeks ago when my dad suddenly turned into super sherpa. He’s been emailing me questions as incessantly as some of those people who post on Slowtwitch asking to have their fit critiqued…what pace did I expect to bike? What run splits? Where are the best spots to spectate? Will you bring your camera? Oh, and your bike lock? Can we bike on the bike course? Have you ever mounted a GPS on your bike? What are the bib numbers of your competitors? What do you plan on naming your first born child?!

I got a slew of other elaborate questions and suggestions... seriously, who knew a sherpa plan could be more detailed than a full-rev race plan?


Now I talk about all of this as though my Dad is a newbie to athletics… he’s not. I have to stop and brag that his name is still on my high school’s record board for the 800m and mile relay. He ran master’s track for several years, including a few trips to the Penn Relays while I was at Penn, as well as to Master’s Nationals. His most recent 800m PR at the ripe age of 59 a few years back was 2:16:


No joke, last night he told me he was planning on bringing his iPad so he could hold up how far behind I was from any other girls in my age group as I flew by on the bike. I keep reminding him this is my first race and that I really just need to focus on racing to the best of my ability and seeing where the cards fall. I mean, before I had even sent my rough goal splits and paces to Hillary, I was forced to begrudgingly give him some of my best case and worst case scenarios for the day.

And as a result, I ended up getting a version of this (not my target times, altered for sharing):


For anyone else who has spectators joining, I present the ultimate race/mile marker predictor. If you click into the link, there are instructions and everything (mine, not his)! This is his third version and he has asked for recommendations in refining his spreadsheet so please let me know if you have any feedback (other than the feedback that it's totally misguided to try to predict a first-time Ironman performance down to each individual pace/split -- I've already give him that feedback).

On a brighter note about final race preparation, I cleaned up the QRoo, put the race wheels on and dropped her off at Jack and Adams for the trip up to Mont Tremblant. We're now in the final days -- even the weather channel's 10-day forecast is up -- and I'm getting more and more excited! Only six days until I fly up!

If you're at IMMT cheer for #370 (me!) and if you see two crazy folks riding around on rented bikes -- one probably trying to bike and balance a MacBookPro at the same time (my dad)---steer clear for your own safety!! :)