Betty Says: Ditching Your Friends

A quick glance back at the Team, and down the hill I went.

Today’s question comes from one of my Texas Bettys:

Dear Betty,

I’m training for an upcoming race with some fellow Bettys in December. Running is new to several of them & they are racing the half. I did 5 halfs last year & really (really!) want to complete a full. Am I a “bad” Betty if I run my full at the same race they are completing the half? Or should I stay with them through their half?

– (Soon to be?) Friendless in Frisco

Hi Friendless,

I’ve been grappling with something similar lately: when do I stick with my training buddy, and when do I run my own race? Since I’m genetically predisposed to feeling guilty about… well, everything, my first thought was that I needed to be there with her every step of the way.

Over time, I realized that it wasn’t practical. Sure, it will be great to stick together at the start, and maybe even for the first couple of miles. But to think that we’re going to be able to go from start to finish side by side? Not practical.

What I’ve decided to do is start out with her, run the flats at our training pace, and split when we hit the hills. What she doesn’t know unless she’s reading this now (do you read my blog, D?) is that I plan to finish the race and then head back out into the park to cheer her on in the final mile.

Your situation is a little bit different because of the full/half split — you’re not one of those people that can run 26.2 in the time it takes the rest of us to do 13.1, are you? — but I still think that being there for the training and at the end-of-race victory celebration is an acceptable way to go.

But by all means, talk it over with them first. Let them know your plan. I don’t think that anyone would have a problem with it if they know ahead of time.

What do you think? Is it ok to ditch your friends to run your own race?

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4 Responses

  1. Tricia says:

    With the group I run with, we all run our own pace. Even on the trainings runs though we’ll usually stop at meet up points so no one gets left too far behind. But in a race it is every person for themselves.

  2. Oh yes, definitely. In my first half, I *wanted* my more experienced friends to ditch me. I didn’t want them to not have the finish time they could have because they slowed down for me and I didn’t want to try to run their pace and not have enough steam left to finish. And they like to stop to stretch a couple of times and I’m sure that if I stop moving, I’m done. Even this year, when my training buddy and I anticipated running the whole race together, we knew we wouldn’t finish together because she has a kick at the end and I don’t. And when I started to fall behind, I told her to go and we’re both happier that she did.

    All of that to say: train with your friends, then run your own race. Even if that’s a whole different race.

  3. Alisa says:

    “Train with your friends, then run your own race.”

    Doesn’t that just sum it up nicely? There’s a part of me that romanticizes the idea of crossing the finish line with a friend, but really, there are just so many variables over 13.1 miles (or even 5k!) that running together just isn’t practical.

  4. misszippy1 says:

    Love the whole concept you have going on here! I’m going to be checking in regularly!

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