Marathon by decree

As I wrote earlier this month, training for my only first marathon is on my agenda for 2017.

Let me elaborate.

Back in 2014, when I ran my very first half marathon, the crazy notion that maybe, just maybe, I could complete a marathon first occurred to me. The significance of even entertaining this endeavor is a post of its own (which I will write at some point), but suffice to say, I have been mulling it over for, literally, almost 3 years. For someone who tends to rush into graduate programs, mortgages and babies, this amount of reflection is indicative of just how intimidated I am by 26.2 miles.

Nevertheless,  I slowly began socking away money, because I knew, even then, that 1. I may very well be a “one and done” marathoner and 2. if I was going to do one marathon, it was going to be at Disney.

If you’re reading this, the odds are high that you’ve run at least one marathon (at least, when compared to the generally acknowledged statistic of 1% of the population that has run 26.2 miles). I have a lot of readers who found this blog through the running and triathlon communities, so maybe you’re thinking “oh, just you wait. Marathons are addictive. You’ll definitely do more than one.”

Maybe. But maybe not.

But there’s no uncertainty or hesitation in my desire to do my (potentially) singular marathon at Disney. I love Disney. Love. It. Beyond that, RunDisney is supposed to do a fantastic job at putting on the race, and it’s rookie-friendly. So, nearly 3 years ago, I began saving a bit of money each month. When I say “bit of money”, we’re talking less than a Starbucks coffee a day amount. Our budget is tight. We have 3 kids in private school, and “we” are teachers. But I committed to working on it. I threw some tutoring money in there. I saved my PTA Christmas bonus, every year. I taught an extra class in the summer, and split the extra between my Disney fund, and family vacations.

I knew, in 2014, that I wanted to go in 2018. It is the last year my oldest is living at home before leaving for college, and it is really important for me, as a mother, to have my kids see me complete this goal. That is also an entirely separate blog post, that I will also write.

But for now, please understand that my kids seeing my first marathon? Even if I go on to run 20 more and they see nary a one? Non-negotiable for me.

In 2014, when I began saving, Disney marathon weekend was the 2nd weekend of the month. As it was 2015. As it was 2016. So you can understand why it never crossed my  mind, as I saved for and fretted over this Herculean goal, that the Disney marathon in 2018 might be the 1st weekend of the month.

Also known as their Dad’s weekend.

You see where I’m going with this.

I wish I could say that asking my ex-husband to trade a weekend was a possible scenario, but it’s not. If you know me, you know why. If you don’t know me, just trust me.

So. Isn’t that just a kick in the teeth?

As someone who has a lot of practice reframing and turning lemons into lemonade, I decided that I would just find another marathon that is worthy of my  investment. I mean, there are some other awesome marathons out there – even if they’re lottery-entry, I’m sure I could find one that is kickass, and on my weekend, right?

Chicago marathon? His weekend.

NYC marathon? His weekend.

Marine Corps weekend? His weekend.

I literally spent about 45min the other night, thinking of marathons I could get excited about, googling them, checking my calendar, and then dejectedly returning to square one. I commented to my husband that race directors must all be divorced men who are looking to make the most of their 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends.

I kid. They’re probably divorced moms who need to work on the weekends that their exes have the children.

I’m sad, y’all. But truly, personal growth, because I’m not angry, or resentful, or shaking my fist at the powers that be that godDAMMIT divorce is just the gift that never stops giving. I don’t feel upset.

I just feel sad. Dejected. But resigned. It is what it is. This is part and parcel for my life. It’s a marathon, it’s not life or death.

But it matters to me.

So, where does that leave me? Right now, I’m leaning towards the Houston marathon in January 2018. It’s my weekend, and a 3 day weekend, so the kids won’t even miss school. I hear it’s flat, with good crowd support, and I’m sure it will still be meaningful and amazing and heck, I’ve got the money more than saved for the entry fee and hotel.

It’s just not what I’ve envisioned for the past 3 years.



12 responses to “Marathon by decree

  1. Glad you found one that works for you. I’m the opposite, I try and book all my races on Dad weekends. Wish I was closer, would love to support you for your first marathon. Can’t wait to follow along with you all the same.

    • Robin – I’m usually the same (booking my races on their Dad’s weekends). I think only 2 of my 6 half marathons have been on my weekends (and both triathlons were sans kids). It’s just the marathon that I want them there for. If I do more, I will definitely try to limit them to his weekends. Which, it seems, should be easy! Wish you were closer too!

  2. As I was reading your post, I was think I knew about the most perfect and picturesque location for your first marathon. The Banff Marathon in Canada. Then I looked it up…It’s on the 3rd weekend of June. #theconspiracyisreal

  3. Are the 2019 dates out yet? Maybe you could postpone a year…your oldest will be in college, but maybe could join you for the weekend.

    • I’m already feeling antsy about waiting for 2018! (I’ve been thinking about this for a few years now). I’m ready to get going. Sort of. Plus my oldest is (mostly) looking at colleges halfway across the country, so the odds of having him here for it once he graduates high school are slim.

  4. I hate this for you! I know several divorced parents who would have no problem switching weekends at such a big event in the other parent’s life. But I also know that is not how your situation goes. It’s really very sad. And I know your kids would want to see you cross that finish line!

  5. How disappointing. I’ve known several people to run Houston and they liked the flames of the course and the crowd support. I would love to cheer you on if it works out, plus I know the area where it’s ran- -it’s not far from where I used to live.

  6. heatherdriveblog

    I didn’t realize you had started blogging again until last week so I am catching up a bit. Thinking of “beautiful” marathons, I thought of this one: Picturesque in the Finger Lakes in New York! It has been during the 1st weekend of October the past two years, but the 2018 date is not released yet. But given how the weekends fall, I’m thinking it could be September 30? Or there is this one, north of Seattle: Or Big Sur in NorCal? I know this post is old, you may have already decided on a new one!

  7. Pingback: Tri training and end of summer update | I Used to Drive a Minivan

  8. Pingback: Marathon 2018 | I Used to Drive a Minivan

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