For a few years now I have been running three mornings a week with two other running moms. Over the past few years they’ve become not only my best running friends, but also my best friends. Running a hundred kilometres a month has a strange way of bonding you as you commiserate about weather, work, family life etc together.
We’ve trained for countless races and greatly enjoyed the process together. As you know, a race is about much more than just the race day itself.
So when my best running friends decided to train together for a race that I couldn’t do due to family commitments, I found myself feeling bummed out. As my friends got stronger and faster, I had a hard time keeping up, and I definitely noticed that I was missing the excitement of training for a big race – I LOVE racing!
I was determined though to stay involved as much as I could, and here’s how:
- I checked in with them often, I asked them how their training was going, and encouraged them to keep going. As a result it kept me feeling connected to them, and excited for their big day.
- I ran with them whenever I could. Speed and hill repeats are a great way for a group of runners with varying speeds to run together.
- I hosted a pre-race pasta dinner for them the night before the race. I made sure dinner was ready early so they could get home early for their early morning alarm. I stuck to serving safe foods to them (Spaghetti and Chicken Parmesan, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, and water in wine glasses).
- I went to the race and cheered them on. I told them to expect me at the finish line, but I also surprised them 2/3 of the way through the course. Seeing their happy surprised faces was worth a million dollars – I honestly cried tears of happiness for them when I saw them.
- I celebrated with them afterwards. Our post-race tradition is to have some Chili, wine and a relaxing dip in my one running friend’s hot tub.
I am so proud of my friends – they conquered Around The Bay 30k today and did an amazing job!!
While I hope I never have to sit out a race again, I’m sure it will happen and I’ll be sure to support them again as best that I can – it made their accomplishment feel like it was mine too and as I said before, I am so proud of them.
(Though on the plus side I’ll be the one able to walk up and down stairs tomorrow LOL!)
Have you ever had to sit out a race that your friends were training for? How did you handle it?