Should I stay,

or should I go now?!?!  (yes, I’m back to song lyrics for titles, thank you The Clash!)

It’s no secret (well, at least to me) that I want to run a race in Europe.  I’ve not been to the continent (gasp!), only the UK and Asia, and this is beginning to bother me more and more.  Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis thing, maybe it’s a “if not now, when?” thing, maybe it’s just a travel bug, but honestly, I spend a good amount of time dreaming this dream. I surf for airline tickets, hotels, and city maps to find all the ‘must-see’ sights.  The object of my affections: the Mizuno half-marathon in Amsterdam on Oct. 20.  A few weeks ago, even the NYTimes noted Amsterdam as one of the top 46 places in the world to visit. A close second: the Brussels Marathon/Half Marathon on Oct. 6.

But then over the weekend at the potluck party, my relay team captain mentioned wanted me on his Reach the Beach NJ team, coincidentally scheduled for that same weekend.  I LOVED doing RTB, NJ, and I LOVE running with this team.  It’s. too. much. fun! And I want to do it again. Even at the expense of losing a chance to travel to Europe this fall.

So this weekend, I put on my google goggles, and spent a considerable amount of time looking for other races that would be close enough to Amsterdam and at a different time of year.  And I found two: a 10 miler in Antwerp (April 21), and a 15k in Brugges (May 5). I’m not so concerned that neither of these is a half marathon–in fact, the distances are probably more conducive to international travel and sight-seeing–but I am concerned about going it alone.

Which surprises me.  I’m a social person, but I like spending time alone.  As a parent, and full-time worker, and active 46 yr old, I have got people around me ALL. THE. TIME.  Solitude is a precious commodity. But for some reason, I don’t want to go on this trip by myself.  I’m not necessarily looking for someone to cheer me on at whichever race I choose (although that would be nice), I think it’s just having someone to share the experience of exploring a different country.

Probably at this point, many of you are thinking “well, duh, bring the Mister.”  It’s not that simple.  For the two of us to sneak away, we’ve got to arrange childcare, make meals in advance, schedule simultaneous vacation time, etc. If we’re going to go through all that effort, it’s going to be for one helluva trip that will be a lot longer than what I’m planning.  Plus, he’s been to Europe before (for his karate) and I kinda wanna do my own thing, too.  Selfish, yeah maybe.  But that’s why we work (as a couple)–we get that about each other.

So back to my conundrum.  Do I stay, or do I go?  I’m leaning towards the Brugges race, and traveling to Amsterdam.  Do I go it alone?  Or do I try to strong-arm convince a friend (or two or even three) to join me?  It’s sorta short notice.  But then again, I am fun on the bus. Five or six days alone won’t kill me, but I really think a trip like this would be more fun with company. Anyone out there interested?




  1. I vote for “go it alone!” I did 25 days “on the continent,” a majority of the time by myself . I was 21. It was amazing. and Luxembourg City is outstanding! doooo it!

  2. I would go for Bruges. It’s a really nice place. I would think it wouldn’t be bad alone there actually – very relaxing, but it’s never a bad thing to have good friends around either somewhere like that.

  3. I vote for Bruges…it is beautiful and would be so fun for a race! It is fun to explore new places with someone, but I think you would have just a great time alone.

  4. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  5. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a
    quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had trouble
    clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Many thanks!

    • I don’t really clear my mind–but i do write in fits and starts. I may have a topic all lined up, but I’ll get to the end of the post, and realize that it’s not quite working, so I’ll start all over again. It may take me a couple of hours to finally get where I want to be. I’m lucky enough to find fodder in the most mundane things.

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