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I train all year for this….

I made a decision earlier this year not to train for the marathon again this year.

I decided I wanted to focus on setting a Personal Record (PR) in the half marathon.

After being disappointed early in the year with the results of 2 half marathons, I was really motivated to train hard and get my new PR.

As any runner knows, when you are training for a race, you make sacrifices. There are no late nights out on Saturday, or even Friday, when you are running long on Sunday. And when you do go out, you spend a lot of time explaining to people why you are turning down their offer for a glass of wine. You give up your Sunday mornings, and your Tuesday evenings, and your lunch hours so you can squeeze in more training. You make sacrifices so that you can reach your goal.

Sometimes it takes more energy to stay focused on your goal than it does to run your long runs. Sometimes it is harder to get to the start of your run than it is to get through your run. Sometimes when the alarm goes off on a Sunday morning, and you can hear the rain pounding on the roof, you want to pull the blankets over your head and say ‘screw it’.

Then all of sudden, you are counting down to race day in days, not months or weeks, and taper is so close you can taste it!

You start making your race day plans and inviting people to come support you in this big moment you’ve trained all year for.

In those long, tedious training runs, you’ve pictured yourself out on the race course. You’ve pictured the crowds along the route cheering you on. Most of all, you’ve pictured crossing that finish line and being greeted by your friends and family and being congratulated on the amazing thing you just did.

You see it all the time at races. Friends and family literally holding up exhausted athletes. Parents waiting for their grown children with a bouquet of flowers to say ‘well done’.

I’ve always been jealous of those people.

I have an amazing boyfriend. Last year he was along the marathon route in at least 7 places to refill my Gatorade & Gu supplies, give me kisses of encouragement when I passed him on a walk break, and to get a video of that last 500 meters as I crossed that finish line of my first marathon.

My mother was out on the route too, at about the 35K mark. Not at the finish line where I had asked her to be, to celebrate my achievement with me, but I give her credit for being there, I guess. Mr brother on the other hand was nowhere to be seen. You see he & his wife don’t go to the city. Not even when his only sister is doing the BIGGEST thing she has ever done.

Yup, I’ve always been jealous of runners with a supportive entourage.

I mentioned race day to my mother a few days ago, not that she didn’t know when it is. It’s always on (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend. I was promptly informed that she would be out-of-town that weekend. Now, not only will there be no Thanksgiving Dinner, for the second year in a row, but she also won’t be at the race.

Did I mention that I’ve been training for this all year? And I find out three weeks before the race that my own mother is going out-of-town?

Now the best part of it is, when I expressed my disappointment, she replied with “well, I was there last year”. Yes Mother, a YEAR AGO, you sat in a lawn chair on the side of the road to watch me run past in ONE out of over THIRTY races I have run, and you didn’t even stick around to congratulate me when I finished. You went out-of-town.

My boyfriend will be there this year, at the finish line, to congratulate me. He is amazingly supportive of my running & racing. 2 weeks ago, he stood outside in the rain for 2 hours waiting for me to finish a ‘practice’ half marathon.

I can count on him to be there for me, but again this year I will miss my family.

I can’t help but be angry & hurt that my family doesn’t care enough to show up and be there for me ONE day of the year.

I mean it’s not like I took time off of work when my mother had surgery earlier this summer, so that someone would be home with her at all times for the first few days. And it’s not like I drove her places before & after her surgery because she couldn’t drive herself. And you know, I’ve never taken a day off of work in the middle of tax season to attend my brother’s citizenship ceremony and of course, I didn’t cancel a party I was planning the night my brother asked my mother & I to attend his RCMP Auxiliary training graduation.

Nope I’ve never gone out of my way to be there for my family when they want.need me.  So why on earth would I expect them to support me at the event I have been training all year for?

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One Comment

  1. SeaBreeze says:

    Kirsty,

    That really sucks. My mom tried to say she was going to visit my brother for Thanksgiving (he’s away at school) and I threw a minor hissy fit. She has since adjusted her plans so that she will be there for my race and thanksgiving dinner. The silver lining is that your boyfriend is supportive. Mine is too and I count my lucky stars for that. It’s really not fair though and they seem to choose not to understand how important this is to you.

    I’d be there to congratulate you, but you’re going to finish before me.

    Sea__Breeze