Today’s Tri Talk Tuesday topic is near and dear to my heart: The Race Support Crew. I’m linking up with only one co-host today, Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles. A little birdie tells me that Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete is in Lake Placid for Ironman Lake Placid (no, she’s not racing!). [Well, the little birdie is named Miranda.]
I don’t have any super eloquent words of wisdom today, just a few thoughts on having support in your training, on race day, and how to handle it when you are disappointed that you don’t have a cheering section to be there at the race.
Having support in training
It’s a crucial element to your training – the support to get out there and do tough workout after tough workout, pushing yourself to your limits.
Each person’s situation is different – where you get your support is unique to you. And support during your training can come in many forms.
In person, such as a runny buddy, running group, or a triathlon club.
At home, such as your husband waking up with the kids on a Saturday morning because you’re out biking or doing an open water swim.
From within yourself, knowing that you have it in you to get out there even on the days when you don’t want to.
Having support on race day
So you’ve done the training, and now it’s race day. Who do you want cheering you on? Who will make a difference in your day for the positive?
Here’s my typical cheering section – this is me at Iron Girl Rocky Gap with my dad, daughter, and my former au pair, who is sadly now back in France but was there to cheer me on for several races during her year in the United States.
My dad is my biggest fan and I like to have one or two of the kids there to cheer me on.
And to have a young daughter at the finish line is inspiring to her, but also to ME.
One thing you won’t see is my youngest, at least not until he’s older. Why? It’s just not worth having a tired, cranky kid who has to get up while it’s still dark out and doesn’t really “get” what’s going on, to only catch the slightest glimpse of me as I whiz by on a bike or running. My husband usually stays home with the youngest boy or both younger boys, and they have a quiet morning.
Also, my husband is not a big fan of getting up at Oh-Dark-Thirty to come to a race with crowds of people, wrangling kids on his own in unfamiliar territory. It’s not his idea of fun. I’d love to have him there for a race in the future, but for right now, this is what works for us.
When disappointment strikes – where are all my super fans?
I’ve also been to races alone, times when I wish someone were there to see me cross the finish line. Breathlessly recapping the race and everything that happened just doesn’t have the same effect – did it really happen if they weren’t there to witness it? Or if I don’t have someone to take pictures of me at the finish line?
Yes. It did.
So what can you do to wipe your broken feelings off the floor when your support team doesn’t show up on race day?
First, don’t panic – you can still enjoy a race even without Ryan Gosling, your dad, your husband, your kids, or your friends. Here are a few ideas of ways to get handle it:
#1: Enjoy being distraction-free. If I go to a race alone, sans kids, I am able to focus on myself, my transition space, my bike my goggles – all the nitty gritty of triathlon. I’m not distracted by giving suggestions for where my family can spectate, how they should look for me on the bike course, or a kid that needs the potty, I’m able to focus on my race.
#2: Find a new buddy. You can try to connect with others through Facebook events or groups if you are looking for a running buddy for the race, or someone to cheer you on. Or hook up with the local running group or tri group and join the group to have a community there with you.
I’m editing my post here to add – check to see if the race has pace groups! I ran with the 2:00 Pacers at the Frederick Half Marathon, and it was INSTANT running companions, and I ran right near the Galloway Pace Group at the Princess Half Marathon and it looked like the same situation!
#3: Say cheese. I run with a camera and take pictures along the way, so that I have memories for myself of the race experience. Or have someone snap a picture of you with their cell phone before the race and text it to you – you’ll have it waiting for you when you finish and can relive that pre-race excitement.
But most of all:
#4: Try to live in the moment. Do the race for YOU, for how you feel crossing the finish line, for your own personal growth and accomplishment. Nobody can take it away from you.
Who is typically there to cheer you on when you cross the finish line?
Do you enjoy doing races alone without a cheering section?
Next week’s theme: Race Prep & Logistics! (7/29) – join me as I obsess over my NYC Triathlon logistics! !