Thursday, 29 April 2010

Show your backup some love

The Runner has been taking part in this malarky known as The WHW Race for 12 years. The very first time he did it in 1998 I had given birth to our youngest son just 6 weeks previously. Naturally I was excused from back up duties and he attempted to do it with a cobbled together backup of a group of fellow club runners and his in laws. Knowing what we know now, it was no wonder he didn't make it. Since then Beardie and I have been his back up team on every occasion.

Over the years I've been called many things by people. A saint, a hero, an angel, an idiot. I've been described and introduced as the fantastically loyal and supportive wife. But the best one recently described me as the long suffering wife.

My Collins Modern English dictionary has the following definition:

long-suffering adj. 1. enduring pain, unhappiness, etc, without complaint ~n. 2. long and patient endurance

Even though I don't actually suffer the the physical pain of a bad race I feel it deeply. To watch someone you love suffer so much doing something they are supposed to love is very painful. The ripple effect into family life is huge. It doesn't make me unhappy but right now I ain't exactly jumping for joy. And I certainly don't stand by without complaint!

Essentially ultra running is a selfish sport. Ultra runners put their training and racing before everything else. For example, we cannot arrange our social life without consulting the racing calendar first. Food and meal planning is a major issue. Training runs come before visiting parents/friends/going out/anything. And if you're lucky enough to have a job that gives you a defined end to your working day then maybe that makes family life a bit easier. Maybe your work/life/running balance is healthy.

I think what I'm trying to get at here is that it's not just the runners who are finding it tough this year. This blog is called You can't do it without backup! You can turn up at the start of the race ready to run but if you haven't got an ace team behind you then forget it. I know I choose to do this but frankly there are times when I struggle. And right now is one of those times.

So if you have a long suffering partner or an amazing friend who willingly gives up their time not just on WHW race weekend to help you fulfill your passion for running then don't forget to tell/show them how much it means to you. Go on, do it right now! Never mind your PBs, your splits, beating your pals. Without a back up team, you simply can't do it.


Peter Duggan said...

Which is why one section of my 2007 race report is headed 'True Team Efforts, Shared Experiences and Thanks where Thanks are not Enough'... and why I'd better get out running right now instead of sitting here playing computers so I'm not letting my 2010 team down! :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with all you say. I'd also add that when I am running I feel that I am representing not just myself, but very much my support team as well. It is up to me ~ with their support ~ to come up with the goods. If I fail to come up to expectations I have not just let myself down but I have let them down. So it is very much a team effort. If I succeed it may be me that is collecting the award, but I think (and hope) that my team shares that feeling of success as a joint effort.

You (well, I, at any rate) certainly could not do it without the back-up of a great team.

Murdo t M

Lee Maclean said...

"To watch someone you love suffer so much doing something they are supposed to love is very painful".
Mine doesn't even like ruuning or runners for that matter. What chance have I got?
Last year it was support by proxy for me. Stuck at Auchtertyre. This year I'm fully fledged. He better bloody listen to me.....

Ali you are a star. Not just to The Runner but the whole WHWR family. BBQ need I say more.

Love you loads Mrs B xxx

Anonymous said...

Be the runner is easy all i do is put one foot in front of the other the rest is you the food midges weather and of my moods when things are not going right

Fiona Rennie said...

Well said! I think every runner should do support at some point, it'll give them an insight on how lucky they are, having people willing to pander to their needs for a very long time. Support is the hard work, running is easy!