Last fall, our family’s weekly fitness plans included a lot of long runs for my husband. He was training for the 3M Austin Half Marathon. His training went extremely well, and he was hopeful for a good race day.
For anyone who has watched or participated in a distance event, you know that when the weather is fabulous for watching, it’s bad for running– and vice-versa. Today was the perfect running morning: high 30s, no wind.
I loaded up the car with blankets and my kids (with mugs of hot chocolate for the boys), and we set off for the race course. My mother was with us, too, as she and my dad had come down from Dallas so my dad could run with my husband. Now in his mid-sixties, Dad has aches and pains that have slowed him to the point my not-quite-yet-forty husband can keep up with him. Plus, they had a small but enthusiastic cheering team for this perfect race day.
We saw the guys at 5.5 miles, and they were bang on-pace. We saw them again at 9 miles, and they hadn’t lost a step. The kids–even the baby–clapped and whooped it up when they saw their dad and grandfather. I remember lots of races from my childhood, and the excitement of seeing my dad run by is part of what motivated my interest in running and racing.
I dropped of the cheering squad at home and drove to the finish. I knew I was there in plenty of time, and lo-and-behold, the guys showed up at their projected time: 1.52.30. You can see in the photo above– my husband on the left in the black and my dad on the right in the blue cap– that they worked hard all the way to the end. Months of training had paid off as they met their goal.
It’s good to take a turn as the supporter instead of the participant. It provides a fresh perspective on the excitement and logistics of race day, and it makes me grateful for all the ways my family supports my fitness pursuits.